Neighborhood opportunity: In an equitable region, access to opportunity-rich neighborhoods would not vary systematically by race.
Insights & Analyses
- Residents in the Nine-County Bay Area are most likely to live in moderate resource and low resource neighborhoods.
- In the Nine-County Bay Area, 5 percent of Black residents live in highly segregated, high-poverty neighborhoods – the highest share of all racial groups.
- Half of White residents live in either high-resource or the highest-resource neighborhoods in the Nine-County Bay Area.
- Across the nine counties in the region, Solano County has the highest share of residents living in low-resource neighborhoods.
Drivers of Inequity
Historic policies barred low-income people of color from accessing housing in places with greater opportunities. Discriminatory policies like redlining, restrictive covenants, and exclusionary zoning promoted racial segregation – entrenching racial disparities in access to well-resourced neighborhoods. Other policies systematically destroyed the wealth of communities of color. Starting in the 1950s, cities used “urban renewal” to justify demolishing the homes of Black families and to build public amenities meant to attract White residents.
Strengthen places: Strategies to build communities of opportunity
- Implement equitable economic development and community wealth-building strategies that bring jobs, sustainable infrastructure, and business opportunities to residents of high-poverty neighborhoods.
- Increase community voice and leadership in planning and policymaking.
- Ensure that development processes and land use planning produce healthy neighborhood environments.
- Ensure equitable school funding policies to provide schools serving higher-need students with adequate resources.
- Require or incentivize the inclusion of affordable housing within new developments using inclusionary zoning, community benefits agreements, density bonuses, or other tools.
- Ensure enforcement of fair housing laws and the application of HUD’s commitment to “affirmatively further fair housing.”
- Dismantle exclusionary zoning policies and develop new affordable homes in high-opportunity neighborhoods.
Strategy in Action
Fighting Black displacement in South Berkeley with a community land trust. With support from the Bay Area Community Land Trust, McGee Avenue Baptist Church is restoring an eight-unit residential property in South Berkeley to create affordable housing units for those with low incomes and those at risk of displacement, especially longtime residents who are African American residents. By placing decision-making power back in the hands of the community and residents, this project aims to preserve established communities and local ownership. Learn more.
In Their Own Words...
“ The city can’t heal until it treats the wound that it’s already created right here in the middle of itself.”
A long-term resident in the San Francisco Tenderloin district, Curtis Bradford has watched his community struggle with homelessness, poverty, and drug addiction. The Tenderloin lacks necessary resources to create a healthy community, like addiction treatment services and traffic safety measures, despite its proximity to affluent areas such as Nob Hill and Union Square. Although the neighborhood has a strong anti-displacement movement, Bradford explains that rising housing prices have still forced many long-term residents onto the streets. He has continued to fight for the survival of his community and remains an active advocate for the Tenderloin.
- Reports: Race, Inequality, and the Resegregation of the Bay Area; Economic Prosperity Strategy Report; Building Communities of Opportunity in the Bay Area Report; Roots, Race, & Place: A History of Racially Exclusionary Housing in the San Francisco Bay Area
- Data: Urban Displacement Project; Anti-Eviction Mapping Project; The Opportunity Atlas; California Housing Partnership Preservation Clearinghouse; Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)