I was asked to take a look at the American Observer's article touching on gentrification "Rising Values for D.C. housing, but who can afford it?" It doesn't do the usual race baiting, and sticks to numbers, but it does talk about racial differences. Yet reading it, it seems to not address (for me at least) the damned if it does, damned if it doesn't situation. It being, development, growth, and a rise in property values.
The article covers the usual ground of NW DC is experiencing this growth and investment and in PG County, also known as Ward 9, there is the highest foreclosure rate in the area. So shortcut, white areas are getting the investment, black areas the disinvestment and failed investments. But when investment comes to areas that need it, it apparently is a horrible thing because that pushes out poor people, which means poor black people and some Latinos. If investment stays away, that means poorer areas don't get the benefit, but if it comes in, it means displacement. Damned, no matter what happens.
Solutions presented in the story are something called value capture, which I think means setting aside units and extra taxes or fees, and helping tenants buy their apartment buildings. Several developments do already have set asides, or at least start out talking about having a few units for low income households. The tax/fee thing, I don't like. This is DC, that money will find its way to a Lincoln Navigator or buying fur coats for family members or to crappy non-profits no one has ever heard of that don't do anything. The apartment building buyout works more when you've got a building over 2 stories with more than a handful of units. In Shaw, single townhomes outnumber the apartment buildings. So for every Immaculate Conception/1330 you have a hundred small time landlords with a house here or a house there.
There is also a interview of Derek Hyra included. It will be interesting to read his book when it comes out as it is about Shaw and urban renewal. In the interview (Youtube) at the 3:30 mark, I have to disagree with him about the influence of the Reeves Center. The Reeves Center was at best a neutral factor. Seriously, when was the last time you headed inside there for anything? Outside, for the farmer's market, yes. Inside? Maybe once. The finished metro, which I've been in the U St Station a million times, and the various eateries and bars should get more credit.
Oh, Renew Shaw has a post stating there has been a buyer for the Kelsey Gardens (was to be Addision Square). Yes, low income people used to live in Kelsey Gardens. But the church that owned it wanted it developed, and they emptied the buildings and then, nothing. And more nothing. And now a little something, but until I see my favorite sight of guys in hard hats doing stuff, it ain't nothing.