Earlier this month the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, D.C. think tank, reported that the average white family today has net assets of $141,900, compared with the $11,000 for African American families. This hollowing out of the African American family asset base is a nationwide phenomenon that can be explained by the shrinking African American middle class. It’s even more a factor in “strong market” regions like the Bay Area, where housing costs are soaring.

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Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan speaks in support of the approval of "Oakland's Housing Equity Roadmap." Photo by Lucas Waldron.

Oakland’s City Council took steps Wednesday night to address the city’s current housing problem by unanimously approving the “Housing Action Plan and Policy Framework” set out in the “Oakland Housing Equity Roadmap.” The policy seeks to prevent the displacement of long-time residents, build new affordable housing, and improve housing habitability and tenant health while maintaining affordability.

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