|The more the merrier.|
Demographics and housing
The above two apartment complexes (55 Fairfax and 162 Belvedere St) in the Canal District are owned by Bridge Housing. see related stories in Apartment Overcrowding
Most of San Rafael's low-income residents live in the Canal Area, along with many affluent residents. There is at least one concern (on Harbor Way) that rents slips for boats that people can live aboard legally.
The more affluent residents live in the houses constructed in the 1960s right on the Canal and in two housing developments in the eastern part of the Canal's residential area: Baypoint Lagoons (constructed in the late 1990s) and Spinnaker Point (constructed earlier). Some real-estate agents refer to these two developments as being in "East San Rafael", to avoid the stigma of the name "Canal Area".
The low-income homes (almost all of which are apartments) are inhabited mainly by immigrants (documented and undocumented), from a variety of countries. Seventy percent are Hispanic, 11 percent Asian, 10 percent Caucasian, 5 percent African-American and 4 percent are of other ethnic groups. This area provides a location for workers who hold low-income jobs that are essential to the functioning of the community to live close to their place of employment.
Although the majority of residents in this area are low-income workers, most of the apartments in which they live are neither subsidized nor less expensive than comparable apartments elsewhare in San Rafael.
In order to pay the relatively high rents, the residents resort to sharing their dwellings with many roommates, typically at least two persons per bedroom, plus one person in the living room. Often as many as eight or more persons, including children, will occupy a two-bedroom apartment