Efforts to build housing around transit threaten to price out those most dependent on bus and rail

By Joshua Emerson Smith : sandiegouniontribune – excerpt

The greatest risk is the places that are already showing signs of gentrification. There’s already value in those neighborhoods and the private market has seen...

Lawmakers, academics and urban planners from Southern California to Sacramento have long called for building denser housing around transit stops. The idea is to design neighborhoods that encourage people to ditch their car commutes — simultaneously fighting climate change while trying to address the state’s historic housing crisis.

However, efforts to inspire construction along rail and bus lines, coupled with a severe shortage of housing, have brought opulent apartment buildings and condominiums into economically challenged neighborhoods. As young professionals flock to the new housing, moderate- to low-income tenants in urban areas from San Diego to Sacramento are now facing displacement.

Tenants’ rights groups, especially in Southern California, say the trend is already playing out in many communities with serious consequences…

While the median family income in those neighborhoods was on average less than $64,000 a year, the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment was more than $3,500 a month, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune analysis of Census and Costar data.

And about one in five of those projects are in areas where the median household income is less than $30,000, where the average rent on a two-bedroom apartment is still more than $3,300….(more)

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