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Study: More gentrification, displacement expected in Bay Area

Neighborhoods with "rail stations, historic housing stock, an abundance of market-rate developments and rising housing prices" are most at risk of displacement.

By
Brooks Hays
Map shows how gentrification is affecting the rate of displacement in different parts of the Bay Area. Image courtesy of UC-Berkeley
Map shows how gentrification is affecting the rate of displacement in different parts of the Bay Area. Image courtesy of UC-Berkeley

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A new study suggests San Francisco and the Bay Area could soon be one giant country club. Already one of the most expensive places to live in the United States, prices are expected to continue to rise.

The latest revelations come from a project by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, commissioned by the Bay Area's Metropolitan Transportation Commission and California's Air Resources Board.

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As part of the Urban Displacement Project, researchers produced an interactive map detailing the nature of gentrification in different parts of the Bay Area. The effort is attempt to uncover correlations between transportation and urban development investments and displacement.

"Using our online map allows residents, neighborhood groups and governments to assess where their neighborhoods -- or those next door -- are in terms of the risk and actual occurrence of gentrification and displacement," Berkeley researcher Miriam Zuk said in a press release.

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Among other findings, researchers found that neighborhoods with "rail stations, historic housing stock, an abundance of market-rate developments and rising housing prices" are the most in danger of losing low-income residents.

The data also showed that "a combination of subsidized housing production, tenant protections, rent control and strong community organizing" were moderately effective at stabilizing neighborhood diversity and minimizing displacement.

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Still, researchers say stable neighborhoods aren't immune to the pressures of gentrification.

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"Even if San Francisco, Berkeley and East Palo Alto protect their renters, that won't ease displacement pressures on the communities next door, which are experiencing the same housing market dynamics," said city and regional planning professor Karen Chapple.

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