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Coalition calls upon Newsom to prioritize housing for Black Bay Area residents

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Victorian-style homes in West Oakland

Representatives for the Bay Area Black Housing Advisory Task Force urged the governor Monday during a virtual press conference to set aside 500 million dollars for a new fund that would help alleviate some of the historic burdens that have led to a disproportionate impact on Black homeowners in the Bay Area.

San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley have each lost between 40 and 50 percent of their Black residents over the last 30 years, according to the task force. East Palo Alto lost 60 percent of its Black residents in that time.

Melissa Jones, Executive Director of the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative, which established the housing task force, said, "The proposed budget that's built on the $98 billion surplus right now fails to address the housing needs of Black communities throughout the Bay Area, but there is still time."

Jones pointed to the generational targeting of Black homeownership through policies like red lining, imminent domain, predatory lending, and state sanctioned discrimination in the housing market.