The Canal Neighborhood, San Rafael

  • When the SMART train station opens in San Rafael, the Canal area will be at risk of gentrification: the area could become a preferred housing location for commuters, resulting in gentrification and displacement
  • The area offers limited land to develop new housing.

Despite being at risk of gentrification, the high density of Latino residents is a potential strength of the community. Organizing is easier than in other areas where members of these communities are farther spread out, such as Novato. This expertise could be leveraged, in partnership with local agencies to respond to displacement pressures in the future.

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The Canal neighborhood of San Rafael is located in the wealthy county of Marin. It continues to serve as a point of entry to immigrant communities, specifically of Latin American origin. The neighborhood is currently not experiencing gentrification, because of the substantial stock of low quality multi-family housing, significant overcrowding, as well as the physical separation (i.e., highway and industrial/ commercial land uses) from the rest of the city. However, it may be at risk in the near future, when the SMART train station opens.

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