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Comprehensive Approach Needed to Solve Displacement

August 18, 2016

By Jacob Bourne : theregistrysf – excerpt

A team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley are working to better understand the root causes of the Bay Area’s urban displacement and gentrification issues through The Urban Displacement Project. Working in conjunction with community-based organizations and UCLA research partners, the team has funding through MTC, ABAG, Air Resources Board, and The California Endowment to analyze development trends and changes at the neighborhood level, in an attempt to help equip communities with tools to respond to displacement pressures.

In May, project director Miriam Zuk, Ph.D., and Professor Karen Chapple, principal investigator, authored Housing Production, Filtering and Displacement: Untangling the Relationships, which provides “A nuanced analysis of the relationship between housing, production, affordability, and displacement in the San Francisco Bay Area.”

The research focused on impacts for low-income residents, defined as households with income below 80-percent of county medians. They found that for the Bay Area’s nine counties, both market-rate and subsidized housing production reduces displacement, though subsidized housing has more than double the effect of market-rate units. Further data showed that increases in market-rate housing supply lead to more rent-burdened low income residents but also results in lower median rents for future decades. The research brief also indicates that in places such as San Francisco where there’s a high demand for housing and low supply, the production of market-rate and subsidized units don’t provide as much protection against displacement as compared to the regional level. Among other deductions, the study concluded that in markets such as San Francisco, preservation strategies are vital, working alongside increased production of market-rate and subsidized units to curb displacement.

“The take away is that market rate housing is needed in this region due to the dearth of supply, but we can’t look at that solely,” commented Zuk. “Market-rate housing isn’t the only solution. We need to make sure that subsidized housing is available.”… (more)

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