Study links Bay Area economic boom to new segregation

- UC Berkeley's Urban Displacement Project and the California Housing Partnership released a study about how the concentration of highly paid workers in the central Bay Area are also creating heavy new concentrations of poverty and racial segregation.

Researchers say this is not good for society moving forward. In fact, the researchers are calling what's happening a new form of re-segregation. 

The study shows that, disproportionately, African Americans and other people of color are being pushed out of San Francisco, Oakland and other places where the booming economy is causing housing costs to  skyrocket.

Read more on the Urban Displacement Project study on Rising Housing Costs and Resegregation 

"Low income people of color are getting displaced from long standing communities of color and are often being pushed to new areas of high poverty often on the urban periphery: Eastern Contra Costa County, Southern Alameda County, Hayward and so on," said Dan Rinzler, a Senior Policy Analyst at the California Housing Partnership.

The number of people of color relocating to unincorporated areas north of Hayward, such as Ashland and Cherryland has been huge.

People of color also have far greater difficulties finding new housing far more than displaced whites who have a much wider ranges of housing choices available to them simply because they are white, according to the study.

When people of color can no longer afford to live in the now gentrified areas, they often end up paying more where they move.

Darren Taylor, a long time stylist at Ce Jay's Barbershop in Ashland, said there are apartments here.

"I don't want to say it's hard to find one. It's hard to afford one," said Taylor.

In Ashland, 450 Latino families have moved in, in the last 15 years.

"San Francisco goes up higher. They move here, and it goes up higher here because they can afford to be on this side of the Bay and they push us our further in the valley. So it's rough on people. The tech industries are moving people in and then pushing people out," said stylist Taylor.

"There's a lot of research showing that neighborhoods that are both poor and racially segregated or isolated are very difficult places for low income children to get ahead," said Rinzler.

Many argue only a massive increase in building affordable housing can get the Bay Area out of the spiraling cycle of moving out and moving on, or, of course, another economic crash like the one 10 years ago.

"What goes up, gotta come down," said Taylor.

How far are people going? 40 percent of low-income Alameda County African Americans left the Bay Area altogether. 

More on the key findings of the UC Berkeley report 
 

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