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Oakland’s Displacement Crisis: As Told by the Numbers

From PolicyLink:

Oakland stands at the center of a perfect storm. The city and surrounding Bay Area region are experiencing extraordinary economic growth, but housing production is not keeping pace with the escalated demands, nor is sufficient housing affordable to many existing residents and the expanding lower-income workforce. The current displacement crisis undermines the health and wellbeing of its residents, and threatens the historic diversity that gives Oakland its strength and vitality.

The red-hot Bay Area economy is feeding a displacement crisis. Nearly 150,000 new jobs are expected to be added to the East Bay economy by 2020, but housing production is not keeping pace with escalating demands, nor is sufficient housing affordable to many existing residents and the expanding lower-income workforce. According to A Roadmap Towards Equity: Housing Solutions for Oakland, CA, the majority of current Oakland residents could not afford to rent or purchase homes at the current prices in their neighborhoods.1 This has strong implications for Oakland families who lose their housing due to eviction, foreclosure, or other events. The housing crisis imperils seniors on fixed incomes, artists, students, low-wage workers (there is no market level apartment listing affordable for a worker earning Oakland’s minimum wage of $12.55/hour), and even teachers, nurses, and first responders.

Housing is the single largest expense for households, and far too many pay too much for housing, particularly low-income families and households of color. High housing costs squeeze household budgets leaving few resources for education, emergencies, healthy food, or long-term investments.

Read this briefing in its entirety at PolicyLink