The foreclosure crisis, followed by drastically increasing rents, landlord pressures, and uneven tenant protections have caused a turnover in the population in Oakland and throughout the Bay Area. We know the numbers, but what are the personal and community effects? Numbers don’t have a face.
This report, prepared by East Bay Housing Organizations and Interfaith Communities United seeks to reflect the community costs of displacement through the eyes of the faith community. From October to December 2015, members of the clergy were interviewed over the phone about their congregation’s experiences with displacement.
Several patterns emerged from these conversations:
- Despite the socioeconomic, ethnic, and geographic diversity of the congregations represented, each one was/is affected by displacement. Some congregations are losing parishioners, and some are gaining, but all felt pressure being exerted on them.
- Congregations of color have watched their membership drop significantly in Oakland due to displacement, but throughout the Bay Area, pastors noted that low-income families, regardless of racial background were struggling, and that the younger generations had found that coming home after college simply was not an option.
- While interviews reflected a small sample, some patterns of displacement paths emerged: faith leaders from Oakland observed congregants moving to Richmond, Richmond congregations noted moves to Antioch/Pittsburg, and moves from Pittsburg and Antioch to Stockton have begun to surface in pastoral discussions of displacement
Many thanks to Rachel Thomson, intern with EBHO’s Interfaith Communities United, for her intensive work on this report.
If you have questions about this report, or want to get involved with EBHO’s ICU, email Demetrius Burnett, EBHO’s Interfaith Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.