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Policy Tools to Prevent Displacement

Policy Inventory and Survey

In the summer of 2014, we inventoried 10 anti-displacement policies and strategies in the Bay Area and complemented the inventory with a survey conducted by the Association of Bay Area Governments to better understand the anti-displacement landscape in the Bay.

View our displacement policy map

In the fall of 2014 we distributed a survey to all housing department and non-profits in the Bay Area to better understand the barriers to implementation and effectiveness of the policies we inventoried. Respondents pointed out that the context of the City matter tremendously in terms of which policies work best. For example, a production strategy in San Francisco with little available land for development will look different from one in San Jose that has more land available for development; renter protection policies are only useful in places with many renters; the effectiveness of a density bonus will depend on the density limits currently in place, as well as market demand in the locality. Additionally, respondents remarked that incentives (like density bonuses) are easier than requirements (like inclusionary zoning) to get through the political process, yet they may not be as effective.

We are currently in the process of further analyzing these policies to better understand why cities have adopted different sets of policies and to deepen the understand of opportunities and barriers. 

Policy Case Studies

We are currently finalizing 3 case studies of Bay Area communities where we would have expected to observe more displacement over the last decade than what was actually observed. These cases will allow us to better understand which strategies have worked to stabilize neighborhoods and under what conditions. In addition, we are finalizing a literature review of anti-displacement policies that will be available this fall. 

Interactive Policy Tool

In response to requests for information on anti-displacement strategies and tailored policy recommendations, we are currently developing an interactive strategy decision tool that will allow city staff, community groups and elected officials to generate a customized list of policy recommendations based on their goals and characteristics of the place of interest. This tool will integrate our anti-displacement inventory, survey results and case studies to translate characteristics of specific places into policy options.

In addition to a tailored policy recommendations list, the tool will also contain useful information for policy design and advocacy such as links to peer cities that have successfully implemented the strategies and model ordinance language. An example of this type of tool is the Mixed Income TOD guide that our team worked on.