Disproportionate Housing Needs/Displacement Risk

Disproportionate housing needs may include cost burdens, overcrowding, and substandard housing conditions disproportionately affecting protected classes, including displacement risk.  Contributing factors to fair housing issues can include:

  • Available, affordable units in a range of sizes 
  • Resident displacement due to economic pressures 
  • Few private investments in specific neighborhoods 
  • Few public investments in specific neighborhoods, including services or amenities 
  • Few renter protections 
  • Few protections for mobile home park residents 
  • Land use and zoning laws 
  • Lending discrimination 
  • Few rental relief programs for people at risk of homelessness

The State of California’s 2020 Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI) identified that poor enforcement and inadequate anti-displacement protections have left protected classes, such as communities of color, more vulnerable to displacement.

Displacement can be both investment- and disinvestment-driven. Both types of displacement have historically harmed people with protected characteristics and low-income households. Investment-driven displacement can occur when improvements and services are made in a neighborhood that may have been neglected over longer periods of time, such as those to support older downtowns or areas to be served by transit improvements.  These types of investments can lead to zoning changes, real estate speculation, and gentrification, all of which can result in displacement.  Disinvestment-driven displacement can occur where fewer public sector investments in infrastructure and services occur and/or where the property values do not justify investing in maintenance.  

Disasters (e.g., fires, floods, earthquakes) can also result in displacement and often create insurmountable burdens for low-income households, particularly for those who rent.  Finally, converting subsidized affordable rental units to market-rate housing can constitute a substantial loss for low-income residents. 

Housing elements must include an analysis of disproportionate housing needs, including displacement risk, for people with protected characteristics and low-income households. This analysis is important to understand how some populations experience severe housing needs when compared to other populations within a community and the region. A critical component is local data and specifically market conditions that put households at risk of displacement or pending or upcoming planning decisions that may exacerbate displacement risk. 

Finally, public agencies must not take any action materially inconsistent with furthering fair housing, including actions that have a disparate impact on protected classes (e.g., permitting toxic or polluting projects near a disadvantaged community, lower investment in concentrated areas of poverty, failure to designate multifamily or affordable housing sites in high-resource areas).

Relevance to Housing in the San Joaquin Valley

HCD’s AFFH Data Viewer confirms disproportionate housing needs and displacement risk are prevalent in most Valley jurisdictions. As such, jurisdictions face additional requirements to assess, analyze, and then prioritize actions relating to disproportionate housing needs and displacement risk.


California Department of Housing and Community Development, Final 2020 Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (June 2020).

Urban Displacement Project, What Are Gentrification and Displacement.