Major report on Mission Trails displacement demonstrates urgent need for policy that protects vulnerable residents
SAN ANTONIO, Texas—The San Antonio City Council decision to rezone the Mission Trails Mobile Home Community three years ago to make way for the Mission Escondida Luxury Apartments severely impacted housing security, health, economic security, and social well being for the hundreds of residents forced from their homes, according to a multi-year study being released Tuesday, May 2.
Based on detailed interviews conducted over two years with 51 households—nearly half of those displaced—the 100-page report by Vecinos de Mission Trails presents an in-depth analysis of this case. In addition to its presentation of interview findings, Making Displacement Visible situates the Mission Trails case within its historical and policy contexts; provides a chronological account of city actions and resident organizing; and offers policy recommendations vital to preventing further displacement as downtown redevelopment continues unmitigated by protections for the most vulnerable residents.
Members of Vecinos de Mission Trails will present the main report findings to local media, policymakers, and community members at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, at the site of the eviction (1515 Mission Road 78210). Former residents of Mission Trails and other Southsiders struggling to stay in their homes and neighborhoods will also be on hand to speak. Press conference will be held in both English and Spanish.
This report is the only known local effort to document the after effects of displacement in a systematic way. “Displacement by its very nature erases evidence of impact,” said Marisol Cortez, Ph.D., principal author of the report and co-founder of Vecinos de Mission Trails. “We wanted to make displacement visible. Where did residents end up? What did they experience along the way? What was the impact on their health and their children? Without such a thorough investigation, it becomes too easy for decision makers to repeat their mistakes.”