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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Defining Sensitive Communities Under SB 50

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In this brief, we analyze the coverage of the definition of “sensitive communities” that was included in the March 2019 revisions to theSB 50 bill language – we call this the “SB 50 Sensitive Communities” definition. We also present analysis of two alternative metrics –California SB 535’s definition of “Disadvantaged Communities” and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “Racially/Ethnically Concentrated Areas of Poverty” (R/ECAPs) –as comparison points. We present these comparisons as a way to discuss how different definitions influence which places would bedesignated as sensitive communities, rather than to recommend one definition over another. Developing an empirical metric to identify sensitive communities is complicated, as there is no one factor that perfectly measures vulnerability to displacement and marginalization, especially when one considers the diversity of places in California. This brief is thus designed to provide stakeholders with information about the currently proposed definition, as well as to highlight questions related to the provision’s implementation. The brief is accompanied by an interactive map,which allows stakeholders to see how the different definitions play out in their own communities.

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