Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 12, 2017

Non-white man’s burden

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

About that housing document from the State again…

In addition to the — what should be obvious but probably is not — fact stated that California has not built enough housing to keep up with the demand the lack of housing being built is disproportionately affecting people of color which will be increasingly problematic particularly  because the projections are that by 2020 California becomes a majority minority state.

First some graphics showing median home sale prices and median rent prices by county.  See the dark dark red around the Bay Area?  Yeah, that means super duper expensive.



Naturally, folks doing well aka “above moderate-income” are least likely to be rent burdened.  Rent burdened is paying more than 30% of their income on housing.  And folks at the very bottom of the income scale are extremely rent burdened in California:


How does this translate for the projected majority minority community?  Not well.



One of the few ways to combat these high prices is to, well, build.  There are signs in other cities and regions that have actually added lots of supply that the market has softened.  In New York:

if it is a glut, the glut is likely just beginning. 2015 was a record year for residential building permits in New York City—with developers pressed by expiring loopholes, the city authorized nearly 35,000 new units in the second quarter and nearly 10,000 more in the fourth. Total permits topped 50,000—more than any year since the early 1960s. And many of them aren’t done yet—according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about half of all multiunit projects take more than 13 months from the permitting date to be completed. One look at the skyline will tell you that the city is still very much in the throes of a building boom.

In Denver and Seattle:

the average Seattle rent fell by $59 in the last quarter of 2015, following a long period of rapid increases. Not coincidentally, vacancies also increased by a full percentage point. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that landlords have reason to worry that things aren’t going to get any “better” for them: another 21,600 units of housing under construction should hold down rent growth into the coming year, too.

It’s the same story in Denver. After a surge of new construction, vacancy rates shot up from 5 to 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. As a result, median rents—which had grown by nearly $250 a month from the first to the third quarter of the year—fell by $7 in the last quarter.




  1. It the same for San Francisco according to the Business Times. The market corrects itself. They are building high end places and the demand is going down. The will either start renting for less or they remain vacant and the owners lose money. It is when there is no supply of any housing that prices remain inflated.

    Comment by joelsf — January 12, 2017 @ 7:48 am

  2. By the way how accurate are the census data because I look white. I was born here and in the question the ask white (other then Hispanic) and Hispanic has another box which you check. I am both so how long and integrated do have to be they consider you to be white. I choose myself as Latin but I have the other part also? My grandfather can be traced back to the mayflower, my grandmother from Mexico, my other one from Ireland, the other it is mixed. I am in a relationship with a Latino. I like Latin food and vacations. I know there is no answer to this. It just something to ponder. I have been in El Salvador for 4 months this year and they see me as American not white or Latino. Most countries may not see race the same as we do. Some do better and some do a lot worse.

    Comment by joelsf — January 12, 2017 @ 8:48 am

    • Census data asks you to self identify your ethnicity and all other categories, so it’s as accurate as people are honest.

      Comment by Lauren Do — January 12, 2017 @ 10:28 am

  3. Sorry I sorta made it a thing which the post wasn’t really about.

    Comment by joelsf — January 12, 2017 @ 8:50 am

  4. Well put joelsf. Next we’ll have you write Do’s hagiography.

    Comment by jack — January 12, 2017 @ 9:43 am

  5. “What should be obvious but probably is not”. Another classic example of divisive identity politics. And yes its perfectly obvious. One could say that poor people have a living cost burden, housing cost burden, or feeding cost burden, but that’s as interesting as writing “Dog Bites Man”. Yes, poor people have it harder. Yes, being poor sucks. Tell us something we don’t know. Or maybe you really didn’t know that? The percentage of poor blacks is twice the rate of poor whites. The same applies for the browns. So if you are black or brown you are two times more likely to be poor than whites in California. The stats on California browns will improve dramatically once that wall goes up and mass deportations take place. Rich brainiacs do not need to illegally cross the Mexican border.

    I couldn’t find the poverty stats for blue eyed or brown eyed percentages, because, really, who cares about eye color? Lets help the poor in our country climb out of poverty, irregardless of skin color. joelsf makes a good point about identifying by culture as opposed to skin color, or hair color or some other non important physical aspect. There is a lot more to diversity than skin color. As our society becomes more and more blended, you are not your skin color as much as what you identify as. It used to be that Mexican Irish was exotic. Not anymore. It is not unusual to see Black Korean and Irish Chinese walking around here. In other words, its just normal.

    Comment by Rising Sun — January 12, 2017 @ 4:26 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at