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Who Ya Gonna Call?

In housing-starved valley,
help is slow to arrive

By Michael Learmonth

Born in the housing-lush era of urban sprawl, Silicon Valley has been slow to address some of the high-density housing issues inherent in other cities of its size.

In fact, the organizations devoted to housing and rental issues are few, and most of the private attorneys representing tenants in housing disputes commute from San Francisco or the East Bay.

"In general, I don't think tenants' rights and advocacy groups are nearly as well developed in Silicon Valley as they are in the East Bay and San Francisco," says Jay Koslofsky, an East Bay attorney who represents tenants in San Jose. "The options and resources for tenants need to be improved."

For tenants seeking assistance in coping with a landlord dispute, there are a few options.

  • Community Legal Services in San Jose offers legal assistance to low-income residents of Santa Clara County: 408/283-3700.

  • Project Sentinel provides mediation services to landlords and tenants: 408/946-6582.

  • The California Tenants Association provides information on tenants' rights: 408/374-2741.

  • San Jose's Rental Dispute and Mediation Program serves tenants living in buildings covered by rent control. Generally speaking, those are apartments built before 1979: 408/277-5431.

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From the Oct. 30-Nov. 5, 1997 issue of Metro.

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