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Zoning, Discrimination, and Affordable Housing

California’s zoning laws make it harder for working‐​class and low‐​income families to find housing they can afford. Even more disconcertingly, California’s zoning laws echo discriminatory policies of segregation and redlining. Multi‐​family zoning, which would allow for comparatively less‐​expensive housing, is often found in neighborhoods of color rather than wealthier, whiter neighborhoods: today’s zoning maps reflect racist policies that were instituted a century ago or more, and that continue to exclude communities of color from many California communities.

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