Big Data and Neighborhood Change: The Virtual Symposium

Each week from August 10 to 25, 2020, the University of California – Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project and the University of Sydney’s Urban Housing Lab hosted its second symposium on neighborhood change funded by the Urban Studies Foundation and co-sponsored by the Berkeley Institute for Data Science. The conference brought together urban and data science […]

Driving National Anti-Displacement Strategies from the Ground Up

Key Takeaways from SPARCC and Urban Displacement Project’s Gentrification and Displacement Analysis Cities are in a unique moment in modern history. Economic inequality and racial bias persistently inhibit the ability for working people to find safe and stable housing. Disinvestment and poor maintenance are deteriorating once great neighborhoods to a degree that threatens basic habitability. […]

Predicting Neighborhood Change Using Big Data and Machine Learning: Potential and Pitfalls

On January 9th and 10th, UC Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project and the University of Sydney’s Urban Housing Lab hosted a symposium on neighborhood change funded by the Urban Studies Foundation and hosted by the Berkeley Institute for Data Science. The conference brought together urban researchers from universities across the United States as well as Spain, […]

Discussing Gentrification, Affordability, and Homelessness at a Congressional Hearing

Prof. Karen Chapple Testifies Before the House Financial Services Committee In January, UDP Faculty Director Karen Chapple testified at the House Financial Services Committee hearing, “On the Brink of Homelessness: How the Affordable Housing Crisis and the Gentrification of America Is Leaving Families Vulnerable.” In her statement, Karen discussed drivers of the housing affordability crisis, displacement, and […]

Sensitive Communities in California: Mapping Vulnerability and Displacement Pressure

Today we are launching, an interactive mapping website that allows users to dive into the intersection of vulnerability and displacement pressures across the state of California. This map was designed to inform zoning reform proposals; below we discuss why we took this on, the process, and what this map tells us. SB50 and Sensitive […]

Identifying sensitive communities: what we’ve learned so far

As state policymakers propose zoning reform and other housing policies to help address the state’s 3.5 million unit shortage, residents around California have raised concerns about what new legislation will mean for their communities. While SB50 — proposed legislation to increase allowable density near transit and other areas — seeks to make sure that inclusionary […]

Investment Without Displacement: From Slogan to Strategy

Many cities struggle with the question of how to invest in ways that help curb greenhouse gas emissions without displacing residents. The stakes are high: displacement has lasting impacts on physical and psychological well-being, community cohesion, and long-term economic mobility. Moreover, when low-income people of color are displaced from communities by rising housing prices, patterns of re-segregation emerge, perpetuating racial inequity. Anti-displacement […]

California Isn’t Full, We Could Provide Housing For Everyone

California has long led the world in innovation, from Silicon Valley to Hollywood. For the last decade, it has also conducted a series of grand, and largely successful, policy experiments ranging from regulating greenhouse gas emissions to providing sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. When it comes to solving the housing affordability crisis, however, California seems at […]

Upzoning California: What are the Implications of SB 50 for Bay Area Neighborhoods?

SB 50 is the fruit of nearly a year and a half of negotiations around Senator Scott Wiener’s legislative proposal to upzone, or increase allowable density, near transit. Responding to critiques of the first iteration of this legislative proposal, SB 827 (which we also examined in a policy brief), SB 50 makes several modifications. Changes between […]

Disruption in Silicon Valley – The Impacts of Displacement on Residents’ Lives

While Silicon Valley often makes headlines for innovative technology and disruptive ideas, local families are experiencing a very different kind of disruption: displacement from their homes. Santa Clara County, home to the immense wealth of Silicon Valley and California’s third largest city San Jose, is no exception to the problems of housing insecurity facing the […]

Proposition 10: Estimating the Scale of Expanded Rent Control in the Bay Area

Proposition 10 has Bay Area voters buzzing. With nearly half of Bay Area renters spending 30% or more of their income on rent, and with the rent burden falling even more heavily on low-income communities and communities of color, it should be no surprise that advocates in the region want to see rents reigned in. […]

SB 827 2.0: What are the implications for Bay Area communities?

Earlier this year, when Senator Scott Wiener introduced California Senate Bill 827 (SB 827), many people began to ask us at the Urban Displacement Project how the bill would impact low-income communities and communities of color. Would it increase displacement pressures? Would low-income neighborhoods become more likely to gentrify or gentrify faster? What kinds of […]

Our message to California state legislature: prioritize tenant protections today

2017 saw impressive progress for facilitating housing production in the state. What can we do in 2018 to protect tenants and ensure equitable development today? Center for Community Innovation and Urban Displacement Project Director Miriam Zuk testified on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 before the Joint Senate Transportation and Housing, and Assembly Housing and Community Development […]

Disaster, Displacement, and a More Equitable Road Forward

The Bay Area is still reeling from the devastation of the recent fires in Napa and Sonoma counties, which tragically took the lives of 43 people and forced over 100,000 to evacuate their homes. The fire destroyed an estimated 8,900 buildings, and officials report that 5 percent of Santa Rosa’s housing stock is gone. While the […]

Paving the Way for Preservation

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. Preservation can be more cost-effective. While […]

Investment without Displacement: Neighborhood Stabilization

Stable neighborhoods are characterized by low turnover where people can stay in place by choice in quality housing, contributing to family and community wellbeing, civic engagement, and the formation of social capital 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 […]

On Development and Displacement

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? After carefully reanalyzing our data, […]

How’d they do it? A look at three places that avoided gentrification

The Parkview Family Apartments in San Jose’s Diridon Station area. Affordable housing like this helped the area to increase its low-income population in recent years, even as major new market-rate housing was constructed, too. Photo source: As we have previously shown, the Bay Area’s wave of gentrification is only just beginning . In the face […]

How to Stop Displacement

Escalating rents and home prices in the Bay Area are displacing low-income families. What can we do about it? Here at the Urban Displacement Project, we get calls every week from cities struggling with gentrification and displacement in their communities. What can we do, they ask us, to maintain our diverse community? The strategies are […]

Transit-Averse Development? The Challenges of Infill

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. To analyze this, our Urban Displacement Project has examined the relationship between transit investment and displacement, finding that these fears may not […]

Mission Accomplished? Revisiting the Solutions

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. One side of the debate reflects traditional economic […]

“Past is Prologue” in Oakland’s MacArthur BART Neighborhoods

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. Some […]

How to prevent gentrification and displacement in the fight against climate change

Where you live makes a big difference in your access to public transit, and to opportunities. Right now, all over the state, we’re seeing displacement and gentrification; lower-income people are being pushed out of their neighborhoods and away from that access. Though this is particularly salient in the San Francisco Bay Area market, it can […]

Redwood City: An Improbable Villain of the Bay Area Displacement Crisis

“Evicted Redwood City tenants rally to stay in complex as calls grow for renter protections” announces the headline, with a photo of 14-year-old Gabriel Banuelos holding the eviction notice for the 18-unit apartment complex. But why would this happen in “Deadwood” City (the long-standing local nickname for the moribund downtown area)? As findings from our […]

Rent Control: The Key to Neighborhood Stabilization?

Who ever thought rent control would be making a comeback after over 30 years? Especially in California, a state that essentially ended the ability of jurisdictions to apply strict rent controls with the passage of the Costa Hawkins Act in 1995. But lo and behold, the tides seem to be shifting, with Richmond passing rent […]

Displacement: The Misunderstood Crisis

Displacement: The Misunderstood Crisis When we think of gentrification and displacement, we typically envision a hipster – young, professional, and probably white — in the Mission District or Brooklyn at the peak of the real estate boom. But this archetype, while not inaccurate, is just the tip of the iceberg. Displacement, which is distinct from […]

The Future of Displacement

The year is 2030. Protesters gather around yet another apartment building where long-term residents are being evicted to accommodate newcomers. We must be in San Francisco. No, we’re in Oakland. Guess again. It’s Hayward. Or, Concord. Or perhaps, Santa Rosa. In 2030, these and many other Bay Area communities may realize that their neighborhood has […]

Are Affordable TODs Providing Access to Opportunity?

With the growing interest in urban living and investment in transit-oriented development (TOD), cities are becoming more expensive than ever. So how can we ensure low-income communities have access to transit and opportunity? In our recent study for the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, Ian Carlton and I conducted a national scan to gauge […]

The Blocked Market for Density and Affordable Housing

Around the globe, many cities are experiencing a housing affordability crisis. There are few places this crisis is more pronounced than San Francisco and Los Angeles. California’s strict land use regulations hinder us from producing enough housing, particularly infill development, or new buildings on vacant or underutilized land in the urban core. Yet, with 200,000 units […]