Neighborhood opportunity: In an equitable region, access to opportunity-rich neighborhoods would not vary systematically by race.

Key Trends in the Bay Area

  • In the Nine-County Bay Area, 10 percent of Black residents live in highly segregated, high-poverty neighborhoods – the highest share of all racial groups.
  • Over 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. 

Strategies

Strengthen places: Strategies to build communities of opportunity

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...

“ I can't believe I now have a place for my kids and me to rest and study.”

— Elena Macario, San Francisco

Elena Macario and her sons, Jonathan and Darwin, were living with her family when her landlord began eviction proceedings because two of her siblings were not paying rent. Since Jonathan is a student at Bryant Elementary School in the Mission Promise Neighborhood zone, Elena had access to a family success coach who helped her access legal assistance, get a Displaced Tenant Housing Preference, build her credit and savings, and apply for a lottery for a below market-rate apartment created through the city’s inclusionary housing program – where they now live.

 

Photo: Felix Uribe

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