How Rising Displacement Defines Housing Development


  • How displacement and rising rents often define housing policies and development politics
  • Strategies and programs to prevent displacement, and how to apply these tools to increase housing affordability while stabilizing communities at risk of displacement
  • How to collaborate with other stakeholders, even on opposing sides, to improve understanding of differing perspectives and approaches to preventing displacement


Rents are skyrocketing and evictions on the rise in many large cities. Low- and even middle-income households find themselves priced out and see their friends and families forced out of their communities. Research finds insufficient funding for affordable housing and scarce housing development contribute substantially to rising rents and displacement. Nevertheless, a common question is whether housing development results in displacement. The panel in this course discusses this topic by flipping the question: How do displacement and rising rents define cities’ housing policies and housing-development politics? In San Francisco, city agencies are exploring anti-displacement strategies like protecting tenants from evictions and identifying neighborhoods at risk of displacement. In Seattle, the city is determining the "right" level of affordable-housing requirement and weighing displacement risk as it implements a citywide inclusionary upzone. Meanwhile, community advocates increasingly fight to protect vulnerable populations against displacement. Private housing developers creatively negotiate with community advocates and city agencies to protect at-risk communities while building housing. Representatives from San Francisco and Seattle city agencies, community advocates, and developers discuss how their strategies interact and contradict and how they contribute to overall housing affordability.