(Hat tip to Frozen Tropics for pointing out the National Housing institute Shelter Force piece.)
I think part of the problem is everyone. Well the word “everyone”. Last year USA Today published an article Studies: Gentrification a Boost for Everyone by Rick Hampson. Recently in the NHI’s online Shelter Force Dr. Kathe Newman and Elvin Wyly wrote Gentrification and Resistance in New York City disputing the USA Today article.
Not everyone gets a boost from various things and the report that the USA Today article was based on didn’t claim that gentrification helped every single person in a gentrifing neighborhood. It was USA Today that made the error.
The USA article does not ignore that gentrification is a hardship. It just doesn’t harp on it. As with the case of Maria Marquez, who sleeps on her couch so that other family members can have the bedrooms. She stays despite the rising rents. The way I read the article is that there are more determined poor who hold on and stay on in gentrifying neighborhoods despite rising taxes and rents by doubling up, making deals with landlords, or a variety of other things. And the poor stay on because the neighborhood is improving.
I think it should be said, even though it should be obvious, the poor, like any other group don’t like living in crappy ass neighborhoods any more than anyone else. No working mother says, “hey move me somewhere with bad schools and gang bangers.” People in poor neighborhoods may be resigned to the high crime, lousy retail choices, and what not, but they don’t desire high crime, lousy retail, poor police response, pitiful city services any more than anyone else. So when it looks like better schools and safer streets come to the poor, that seems like a pretty good incentive to stick around. I felt that needed to be addressed.
And yes, I do realize that when gentrification comes to the hood the poor don’t all start going “yipee”. It is another burden, but depending if you are willing to pay the price, a burden with benefits.