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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Roots, Race, & Place: A History of Racially Exclusionary Housing in the San Francisco Bay Area


This report traces the roots of the Bay Area region’s racial exclusion in housing and finds that racism reinvents itself, proving to be dynamic, generative, and fluid, yet also remarkably durable and entrenched. The historical record also reveals that while racialized housing inequality in the Bay Area is part of a national dialectic, it is not solely a function of factors outside of local control. This report focuses specifically on the local: the many tactics of exclusion and dispossession that were deeply localized in practice, driven by local actors such as homeowners’ associations and neighborhood groups, real estate agents and developers operating within the regional housing market, and institutions, such as local governments and public agencies, which collectively shape local policies and markets, thus blurring the lines between public and private action.

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