Jokingly in my head I’m writing a book called “Gentrification: A Love Story”. Because as someone who bought a home right after the 90s in the Williams Administration, gentrification has been very, very, good for me. The equity in my home has allowed me to make investments and assist family members to improve their situation. The neighborhood that was so rough, my then best friend wondered if I was too desperate for home ownership, ten plus years later became my husband who actually wanted to live in the now hip happening neighborhood.
My spouse and I arrived in the DC area in the 90s in our 20s. DC kinda sucked in the 1990s. The Help (my spouse) has memories of walking from his roach infested Dupont apartment down to the Mall on weekend mornings and getting propositioned constantly by hookers. I lived in NoVa because I put a high premium on my safety and comfort, and all the DC roommate situations I looked at were blazing red flags. Tip- If you go to look at an apartment with a guy and there is a half dressed woman passed out in the living room, pass. Consider backing away and running for your life.
We do wonder if the younger residents have an appreciation of how far DC has come.
Yes, gentrification hurts. It’s a sort of change that separates out the weak. There are long time families in my neighborhood that aren’t going anywhere. These people are resilient. Grandma owns the home free and clear or the head was a government worker and has managed to keep the house in the family. They already know about the senior citizen property tax program and how to get an assigned handicapped parking spot in front of their house. They managed to survive the crack dealers and killings in the 80s and the 90s. They’ve proven thus far to survive the gentrification of the 00s and 10s. They are stronger than the newer residents think.