Racially Concentrated Areas of Affluence

Racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty (R/ECAPs) have become a policy focus for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). R/ECAPs are neighborhoods where residents are largely people of color and also have lower incomes. Similarly, state statute requires the Housing Element’s Assessment of Fair Housing to analyze R/ECAPs as well as racially concentrated areas of affluence (RCAAs). In contrast to R/ECAPs, RCAAs are neighborhoods where the population is disproportionately white and affluent.

The concept of RCAAs was originally developed by scholars at the University of Minnesota to more fully tell the story of segregation in the United States: "Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research — Volume 21, Number 1" (PDF).

Importantly, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) created a new version of the RCAA metric to better reflect California's relative diversity and regional conditions. This recalculated RCAA metric can aid local jurisdictions in their analysis of racially concentrated areas of poverty and affluence pursuant to Assembly Bill 686 and Assembly Bill 1304. HCD’s AFFH Data Viewer includes a map layer showing RCAAs based on the recalculated metric, and HCD also provides the methodology used to calculate the new RCAA metric