The not-so-small beach-side city of Santa Monica, California has moved to rebalance a great wrong committed in the 1950s and 60s: the destruction of black and Latino communities via eminent domain to build the 10 freeway, by welcoming the folks they kicked out, or their descendants, back.
Starting next Tuesday, households or their descendants displaced by urban renewal projects in Santa Monica in the 1950s and 60s can begin applying for affordable housing.
The new Below Market Housing (BMH) pilot program gives priority to those displaced by the Civic Auditorium in the Belmar Triangle neighborhood or the I-10 Highway in the Pico neighborhood.
The program will place as many as 100 mostly Black or Latino "historically displaced households," including children and grandchildren, in line for City-funded and inclusionary housing.
Growing up in Santa Monica, I had no idea about most of this history until I was an adult. It was not taught in the high school across the street, and I would not have known where to start looking if I had even suspected such a thing might be possible.