Gentrification and housing

Because of this blog, I get asked about gentrification. I’m not a public policy wonk, or a student of urban planning, or an activist, but I am a citizen with an opinion on the topic. One question is if affordable housing will disappear because of gentrification? Um, short of Mothra coming in a flattening 3/4ths of the hood, no.
The reason why is just off the top of my head there are a couple of public housing units (see here), the co-ops and other apartment buildings that are not market rate on 7th, 6th, 5th, and 1st Streets, that have sizable footprints and surface parking lots (see the DC Real Property Map). Some are owned by churches, which doesn’t really mean anything, because a church owns (in full or part, not sure) Kelsey Gardens. But as long as the churches see it as part of their mission to provide affordable housing (with the help of being tax exempt) those housing units should be fine. So the cry that there is no affordable housing or that affordable or low income housing will disappear in Shaw, doesn’t ring true in my ears.
I do acknowledge that among privately rented townhouses and small 4-6 unit apartment buildings there is a danger. However if a landlord decides to sell his townhouse to someone who will more than likely want to live in the unit and be a resident homeowner, I think the neighborhood is better off because it stabilizes the community.
Anyway I started writing this to point out a function going on this weekend. Shiloh Baptist Church this weekend is putting on a Gentrification meeting/ forum whathave you reported here and here, and probably a few other spots. It’s this Saturday between 1-4pm at 1510 9th St. And to touch on OneDC’s rally for their favorite bidder for Parcel 42, but I’ll get to that later.