AHF Rolls Out ‘GNTRIFIED’ Billboards Statewide to Hit Inaction on California’s Housing Crisis

In Featured, News by Ged Kenslea

Image of California license plate inscribed with a shortened version of the word ‘Gentrified’ provides stark message on California billboards, part of an ongoing public awareness campaign on the state’s homeless crisis and the role gentrification plays in it as well as overall housing affordability.  


Following successful campaign launch in Los Angeles in September, new ‘GNTRIFIED’ billboards are posting this week in the Bay Area (San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose) as well as in San Diego.


LOS ANGELES (October 3, 2019) Housing justice advocates affiliated with AHF expanded a high-profile billboard and public awareness campaign drawing attention to California’s twin housing affordability and homelessness crises. The group pushed the campaign statewide this week with the posting of new ‘GNTRIFIED’ billboards in the Bay Area (San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose) as well as in San Diego.


The expanded statewide ‘GNTRIFIED’ billboard and transit shelter ad campaign, which first launched in Los Angeles in early September, is intended to spotlight the spiraling crisis of homelessness across the state and the role gentrification plays in it, as well as in overall housing affordability throughout California and the nation.


The billboard image, a California license plate inscribed with a shortened version of the word ‘Gentrified,’ delivers an in-your-face message as part of AHF’s ongoing homeless/gentrification/housing affordability public awareness campaigns. The billboard license plate image also includes the URL www.gentrificationsucks.org for more information.


While raising awareness in the general public, the ‘GNTRIFIED’ billboards are also intended to embarrass and shame elected officials, public servants and property developers who disproportionately plan, greenlight and build luxury housing developments that regularly fail any reasonable housing affordability benchmark for vast segments of the population of California. Such luxury developments fuel the rapid gentrification of neighborhoods throughout the state—often requiring the razing of existing rent-stabilized or rent-controlled housing units—and in the process, displace hundreds of low- and moderate-income tenants each year.


The new ‘GNTRIFIED’ billboards and transit shelter ads began posting October 2nd in San Diego, San Jose and Oakland; in San Francisco, starting October 3rd. The campaign began in Los Angeles Sept. 7th.


Homelessness in the Four California Cities Targeted with New ‘GNTRIFIED’ Billboards

Between 2017 and 2019, homelessness grew by 17% in San Francisco and by over 40% in Alameda County (Oakland). According to KPBS-FM Radio (NPR), “San Diego County had the fourth-most homeless residents in the U.S. this year (2018), according to a report released Monday (12/17/18) by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.”


According to ABC-TV7 News (KGO), Santa Clara County, the Bay Area’s most populous county and home to San Jose, “…had maintained a fairly steady homeless population since 2007, but 2019 is a different story. The homeless population now approaches 10,000. The total increased 31 percent from 2017. More than 6,000 of the homeless live in the city of San Jose.”

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