Some of the major tech cities – among them Seattle and Austin, where TRC Professional Solutions has offices – are seeing drastically rising rental prices due to increasing competition for housing from people who can afford to pay more. Those people? Tech workers.
Rent always goes up, but tech cities are seeing an 5.7% average increase versus the 3% national average, according to this CNN Money article. Many of the cities’ inhabitants aren’t happy. In San Francisco, where multifamily rental housing is being converted into high-priced condos, some locals are staging protests including blocking the shuttle buses that carry Google and other Silicon Valley tech company employees to their jobs.
Rent prices in these tech cities have reached 82% above the national average. The rising prices are pushing taxi drivers, teachers, restaurant workers, and other low to middle-income workers to the suburbs or other cities. Even some tech workers are getting displaced. The concern of many, besides eviction and displacement, is that cities whose charm comes from their diverse inhabitants will become homogenized seas of, as the NY Times puts it, code jockeys with their heads buried in their laptops and sleek black Uber cars whisking hipsters from bar to bar.
The catch is, tech companies and workers are an enormous reason for the thriving economies these cities are currently experiencing.
What do you think? Should governments step in with regulations, tech companies take steps to preserve their cities’ diversity, landlords only take a “fair” price even though tech workers are offering more than the asking price – or is all fair in a capitalist society?