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When we talk about addressing the housing shortage and stemming the tide of displacement, preservation strategies have sometimes been absent, as conversations on affordable housing often default to construction of new units. However, preservation of existing affordable housing, both subsidized and naturally-occurring, is an essential piece of the puzzle.

It’s pretty clear that the Bay Area doesn’t have enough housing, but the dialogue around supply-side solutions to the affordable housing crisis tends to be divided.  How can we bridge this divide with effective coalition-building to overcome barriers and create housing for all segments of the market?

How can we stabilize neighborhoods in the face of displacement pressures that threaten to push residents out of their communities? What are the right policy tools for neighborhood stabilization, and what will it take for diverse stakeholders to overcome political barriers and push things forward?

After the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) used our data to advocate for the construction of market-rate housing as an anti-displacement tool back in February, questions have poured into our office: Is it true that market rate development reduces displacement? Does subsidized housing really have no effect? What is filtering?

Escalating rents and home prices in the Bay Area are displacing low-income families. What can we do about it?

We are not building enough of the the so-called Missing Middle in housing types, like these fourplexes in Berkeley.

 

Like merchants on Geary Street concerned about the effects of new bus rapid transit on their businesses, many fear the change that a new transit line or station will bring to a neighborhood.

Last week, San Francisco voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have halted market-rate development in the Mission District. The proposed moratorium highlighted schisms in the community around the best way to slow the displacement that has made the Mission the gentrification poster child of the Bay Area.

Uber’s recent announcement that they plan to shift their headquarters from San Francisco to Oakland was met with mixed reactions: some cheered the jobs this would bring to downtown Oakland, while others worried about the impact this change would have on ongoing gentrification in a city that has a complicated history surrounding low-income housing.