Are new apartments forcing poor people out of Portland? A new report suggests the opposite is true.

Much of the ire about the West Coast's affordable-housing shortage has focused on new, expensive apartments. As WW reported last summer, economists regularly argue that new housing supply helps lower rents.


A new report from the California Legislative Analyst's Office goes further: It shows that the more market-rate housing a city builds, the less poor people get displaced. (See the charts above.)

The report looks at market-rate housing construction in San Francisco Bay Area census tracts, and displacement rates in the same tracts. The result: In the past 13 years, a community's probability of experiencing displacement gets cut nearly in half when construction levels are high.

The report shows inclusionary housing—a policy at the center of Oregon Legislature debate—barely reduces displacement.