06/26/2022

Housing prices are resegregating the Bay Area, UC Berkeley study finds

The Bay Area’s soaring housing costs are pushing poor people into neighborhoods where poverty and racial segregation are on the rise, a UC Berkeley study published Wednesday found.

As a result, the region’s low-income families — particularly minority families — are increasingly cut off from relatives, their children may face worse health outcomes and parents’ commutes to work can dramatically lengthen.

UC Berkeley researchers tracked migratory patterns and demographic changes across the region from 2000 to 2015. They found that movements caused by housing costs are intensifying racial disparities among neighborhoods.

Many neighborhoods in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Richmond saw declines in black population while farther-out areas of the East Bay and beyond saw increases. Neighborhoods such as San Francisco’s Bayview and Oakland’s flatlands lost thousands of low-income black households; places like unincorporated Cherryland in Alameda County and eastern Contra Costa County saw influxes.

Neighborhoods with low pollution, high-quality schools and other resources have become increasingly inaccessible for African Americans, according to the report. The study was a project by UC Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project and the California Housing Partnership, a nonprofit that advocates expanding affordable housing.

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