Can a Tool of Segregation Be Used to Fight Displacement?


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Eve Bachrach

Michael Lens

Rises in housing costs are outstripping income gains, and residents are being pushed out of central city neighborhoods that have been affordable to low-income workers for decades. How can cities actively curb displacement? Neighborhoods that have been more successful in resisting gentrification and displacement have done so through a range of proactive measures. Neighborhood preference policies are illegal under the Fair Housing Act. Yet San Francisco is attempting to use neighborhood preference policies to maintain diversity in what have traditionally been mixed neighborhoods. Can these policies effectively and fairly slow gentrification and protect residents at risk of displacement?