Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 3, 2016

Don’t let the door hit you

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:29 am

Two articles pretty much the same sentiment.  When there is a housing shortage people of color and the working class are first to get pushed out.

From the LA Times about the exodus of Blacks from progressive West Coast regions like Seattle, Portland, and naturally the San Francisco Bay Area.  Highlights:

Lower down the coast, the San Francisco Bay area has lost black residents since 2000, though recent estimates suggest that it may have halted the exodus since 2010. San Francisco proper is only 5.4% black, and the rate is falling

If these figures merely reflected black consumer choice, they wouldn’t necessarily matter; but the evidence suggests that specific public policies in these cities are to blame. Primary among them are restrictive planning regulations, common along the West Coast, that make it hard to expand the supply of housing. In a market with rising demand and static supply, prices go up.

As a rule, a household should spend no more than three times its annual income on a home. But in West Coast markets, housing-price levels far exceed that benchmark — a hardship that more severely affects blacks than whites because blacks start from further behind economically. Black median household income is only $35,481 a year, compared with $57,355 for whites. The wealth gap is even wider, with median black household wealth at only $7,133, compared with $111,146 for whites.

When it comes to how state and local policies affect black residents’ choices about where to live, cities with the West Coast model of liberalism are the worst performing.

These results should be troubling to progressives touting West Coast planning, economic, and energy policies as models for the nation. If wealthy cities like San Francisco and Portland — where progressives have near-total political control — can’t produce positive outcomes for working-class and middle-class blacks, why should we expect their approach to succeed anywhere else?

Then from Curbed on the displacement of working class workers:

Working-class people are being priced out of major cities all over America. But the effect is particularly pronounced in the Bay Area with San Francisco, San Jose, and especially Oakland shedding citizenry at rates leaps and bounds ahead of the likes of New York or Chicago.

The numbers tell a startling but predictable story, as working people and young people seem to be getting squeezed out.

The effect is even more pronounced in the greater Bay Area: In Oakland, households making $30,000 a year were 14.6 percent of the initial population, but were 28 percent of those who moved away during the four-year period.

Despite the popular image of the young, moneyed techie saturating the city, Trulia’s number crunching also showed that it seems to be increasingly hard for millennials age 18-34 to stick around. That age bracket was 27.4 percent of San Francisco’s population, but 52.3 percent of those who left.

So if your reaction to these cold hard facts about the homogenization of the Bay Area is:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

And wax poetic about quality of life and character needing to be retained, the reality is that if the Bay Area becomes only a place where the wealthy or those who purchased homes decades ago can afford to be, “character” and “quality of life” really are simply subjective descriptors that are only meaningful for the person encouraging the status quo of continued displacement because of lack of supply.

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4 Comments

  1. SF Renters Group begins a campaign of Sue the Suburbs: http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Renters-group-tries-to-force-suburbs-to-add-7386206.php

    Comment by Mike McMahon — May 3, 2016 @ 7:19 am

  2.  “If wealthy cities like San Francisco and Portland — where progressives have near-total political control — can’t produce positive outcomes for working-class and middle-class blacks, why should we expect their approach to succeed anywhere else?”

    If you fail A-As, are you really progressive?

    Comment by gaylon — May 3, 2016 @ 8:30 am

  3. “the West Coast model of liberalism”

    best summed up as: preserving my views and street parking in order to save the environment.

    Comment by BMac — May 3, 2016 @ 10:59 am

  4. There cannot, by definition, be a problem because there is a market price. No further deliberation is required because this is a necessary truth.

    Comment by BC — May 3, 2016 @ 5:07 pm


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