What we found:

Although gentrification hits communities of color the hardest, housing winds up being a relatively low-disparity issue area since the state as a whole struggles with issues like housing affordability. Counties with the highest disparities tend to be the most urbanized ones, such as Los Angeles, while small, rural counties tend to be both higher-performing and lower-disparity. Medium-sized counties, like Riverside and San Bernardino, are medium performers with relatively lower disparity, underlying the significant role played by high housing prices in denser areas. Much of the Bay Area is high-performing but also high-disparity for housing issues; here, costs are high but high-income groups can afford them, even as skyrocketing rents exact a toll on communities of color. Beyond affordability, housing quality is a barrier in many parts of the state.


Why this issue matters for racial equity?

For most families, their house is their biggest asset, providing stability and a means for building wealth. The exclusionary discrimination practices in the housing market have generated a volatile cycle for people of color, leaving them with lower homeownership rates, higher priced loans and living in segregated neighborhoods with less access to public resources.


Policy levers:

Advocates across the state are organizing in a variety of municipal campaigns focused on increasing affordable and quality housing opportunities and for the protection and acknowledgement of tenant rights. These organizers are working to win tenant protections and promote the creation of new, truly affordable housing for people of color. These efforts include statewide campaigns to enshrine protections for tenants and limit speculation in residential property. More long-term local efforts involve building power among people of color to fight displacement.

Key Takeaways

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Housing: Over half of all California renters are rent-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of income on housing costs.
Housing: California Pacific Islander, Latinx, Black and AIAN students are two or more times likelier to experience homelessness than students of all other races.
Housing: Latinx Californians are more than twice as likely to live in overcrowded housing as the average Californian, and nearly eight times more likely than White Californians.

04 of 7 key issues


The inability of regional governments to provide solutions for affordable housing has resulted in greater income inequality and decreased social mobility.

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