"Opinion: This legislation addresses needed housing and racial justice"
Aug. 9, 2020
Many of us are unaware that some of the most exclusionary housing policies — some still practiced nationwide — originated here in our diverse Bay Area. As examined in UC Berkeley Othering and Belonging Institute’s “Roots, Race, & Place,” San Francisco’s 1890 Bingham Ordinance explicitly excluded Chinese residents from living in certain zones. Berkeley’s 1916 comprehensive zoning ordinance created exclusive single-family residential zones to exclude Black and Asian Americans. An Oakland-led consortium advanced our state Constitution’s Article 34 intended to make affordable housing nearly impossible or even illegal to build in some jurisdictions. Just 10 years ago, Marin County’s zoning restrictions were cited by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for failing to further fair housing.
Our region didn’t just create discriminatory policies — we led the way.
"New UC Berkeley report details history of racialized exclusion in Oakland housing"
Nov. 11, 2019
The UC Berkeley report shows how, over the past eight decades, Bay Area neighborhoods used different strategies to close off certain areas to certain residents.
Through a practice known as redlining, the federal government identified predominantly white areas as profitable real estate investments and heavily subsidized them, while simultaneously depriving predominantly black neighborhoods of similar assistance, according to the report. The practice of redlining began with the National Housing Act of 1934. But racial segregation and discrimination against minorities and minority communities pre-dated this policy, the report authors noted.
"Investigating the Roots of Exclusion in San Francisco"
Oct. 10, 2019
The racially segregated patterns of housing in the United States have roots all over the country, in federal policies and practices and written and unwritten local rules. A new report from the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley, aims to show that the San Francisco Bay Area — long considered a bastion of progressive values — is no exception to this rule, and was in fact on the vanguard of some racist housing practices.
The report is called “Roots, Race, & Place: A History of Racially Exclusionary Housing in the San Francisco Bay Area.” It traces the ongoing racial and economic segregation of San Francisco and environs to a series of explicitly and implicitly segregationist policies and practices in history, concluding that “the region’s past and present are both stories of a system of racial capitalism, in which race and racism are fundamental to the creation of profit and accumulation of wealth.”
Focusing less on nationally common practices like redlining and more on locally rooted exclusionary zoning and racial violence, the authors depict a history that often goes unacknowledged in the Bay Area, but that helps explain some of its ongoing inequalities today.
"Haas institute report outlines Bay Area’s past of racially exclusionary housing"
Oct. 4, 2019
The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society released the “Roots, Race, and Place” report Tuesday, which focuses on the intersection of race and housing in the Bay Area before 1968 to understand the impact it has on the area’s current housing policies.
Authored by Eli Moore, Nicole Montojo and Nicole Mauri, the report documents the timeline of racially exclusionary policies and practices in the Bay Area from the 1850s to the 1970s. The report found that racial residential segregation in the Bay Area resulted from tactics including extrajudicial and state violence and exclusionary zoning before the enactment of federal fair housing legislation.
“Clearly, there’s a severe set of issues setting into the region when it comes to housing,” Moore said. “Lack of affordability, gentrification are very much present, and the racial inequities in the low-income communities who have been hit the hardest by these issues are also very concerning.”