In many ways, the Bay Area is still struggling to recover from the housing market crisis. Although some housing prices are rising, only a few neighborhoods have returned to the peaks reached in 2006. And most of them are in Silicon Valley. Richard K. Green, director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California, told the San Jose Mercury News that, “Oakland is still dead.”
The neighborhood of Westborough straddles the border between Daly City and South San Francisco. It’s a mostly residential area, with quiet sloping streets full of brown and beige town homes built in the 50s and 60s. Before that time, this area was undeveloped farmland and open space. A frenzy of construction after World War II created the neatly planned housing tracts and shopping centers that make up the bulk of Daly City today.
West Oakland is a neighborhood in transition – more people are moving in, and developers have it in their sights as the next up-and-coming place to live. But the neighborhood’s air quality is some of the Bay Area’s worst. A recent report by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies found that new laws for trucks had dramatically reduced emissions – but there’s still a long way to go.
Margaret Gibson has lived on 10th street in West Oakland for all of her 52 years.
“It's a little tough some times, but it's home, and I love it.”