Source: The Registry
By: David Goll
Date: October 16, 2015
Related Staff: David Zisser


Finding common ground on how to plot growth and promote affordable housing in the Bay Area — with its nine counties, 101 cities, two major planning agencies and multitude of special interest groups — is proving to be a tough task in the famously disjointed region.

David Zisser quoted regarding Plan Bay Area and the 6 Wins for Social Equity Network:

“There is a general consensus that displacement (of low-income residents by gentrification) has been a problem in the Bay Area for quite some time, but it has really accelerated in the past two or three years,” said David Zisser, staff attorney for Public Advocates Inc., a San Francisco-based legal and advocacy organization specializing in poverty and racial discrimination issues. “We’ve seen a massive number of evictions.”

Zisser said a coalition of social justice, faith, public health and environmental organizations called 6 Wins for Social Equity Network — which includes Public Advocates, Working Partnerships USA, Urban Habitat, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy and the Council of Community Housing Organizations — is promoting a multi-pronged approach to tackle the problem. It encourages affordable housing, robust public transit, green-oriented jobs and environmental clean-up.

Coalition members are confident MTC and ABAG planners will incorporate their issues into the PBA 2040 update, as they did in 2013.

“There may be some disagreement on the causes, but data and anecdotal evidence is strong that displacement is happening throughout the area,” Zisser said. “It especially affects low-income people and people of color. We’ve seen an exodus of black residents from Oakland and numerous evictions of Hispanic residents in San Mateo County. Things like rent control may not be perfect solutions, but can still make a big difference.”

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