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Map shows which SF neighborhoods gentrifying fastest

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Tenderloin, Chinatown, and Bayview are at risk for rampant gentrification

An aerial photo overlooking the Richmond, facing the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Richmond is one of SF’s slowest gentrifying neighborhoods, according to UC Berkeley.
Photo by Jon Sullivan

UC Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project updated its regional gentrification map this week to show which California neighborhoods are hemorrhaging low-income households and which ones are hanging in there.

The previous maps used data from 2013, but this week’s update bumps the timeline up to 2015 to see what happened to Bay Area neighborhoods. UC Berkeley credits “the San Francisco’s Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development” with providing the “regional data on housing, income and other demographics” that inform the map.

The results:

Only a few neighborhoods managed to net the least worrisome designation, “not losing low-income households.”

Most of the Richmond District and the southern lying neighborhoods like Ingleside and Crocker-Amazon hung in there in the 2015 numbers, showing no particular trend toward higher income residents.

Parts of wealthier neighborhoods like Lower Nob Hill, Hayes Valley, and even some blocks of Russian Hill fell into the same category, but these were clear outliers. Note that being in this category does not tell us how many low-income households a tract has; only how well they’re being preserved.

More low-income neighborhoods are marked “at risk for gentrification.”

Most tracts in the Tenderloin, Chinatown, and Bayview displayed these red flags.

Under the UC Berkeley rubric, “at risk” means that the neighborhood is home to low-income households right now but has certain tell-tale markers that could lead to an influx of wealthier residents, such as easy access to mass transit (a rail station, specifically), a high number of older architecture (pre-1950) buildings, a high number of jobs nearby, and a hot real estate market.

Risk does not necessarily mean that displacement will happen in that neighborhood, of course; only that it’s more likely than in other places.

A street in San Francisco with tracks on it. There are buildings on each side of the street.
The Sunset, seen here in 2012. Since then the neighborhood has stratified wildly, according to the new figures.
Photo by Torbak Hopper

Displacement in 2015 was worst in places like SoMa, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Pac Heights, and the Mission.

By and large there are no surprises to be found here. These neighborhoods either lost low-income households since 2013 (mostly tenants with rent control and/or lucky leases or longtime homeowners who decided to cash in on a hot market) or had previously lost those households and simply continued the trend now.

The Sunset District is all over the place.

Like the Richmond District to the north, much of the Sunset District is marked as neither gentrifying nor at risk, but the blocks west of Sunset Boulevard and some eastern tracts around Seventh Avenue and Judah rank among the most highly gentrified in the city.

University researchers also mark much of the neighborhood as “exclusive” or “potentially exclusive,” meaning that they have a dearth of low-income residents and that the cost of housing is so expensive that those figures are unlikely to change.

But none of that is as bad as what’s happening in Oakland.

The new map update marks virtually the entire city of Oakland as either “at risk” or as the site of “ongoing gentrification,” at least by 2015 figures.