What is gentrification and why is considered bad?


What is gentrification and why is considered bad?

In: Economics

It’s the improvement of low cost/low income neighborhoods which then causes the cost of living in those neighborhoods to go up so much that people who live there can’t afford to anymore. you’re paying 100 bucks a month in rent, right? And they decide to open a really nice grocery store right across the street from you in an empty lot. A year later that grocery store has caused a lot of traffic into the neighborhood, and it’s a lot of rich people cause the grocery store caters to people in a higher income bracket. Now rich people want to live in this neighborhood because it’s so close to the grocery store, and landlords start to see that people who CAN pay more want to live where you live, so they jack up the rent from 100 bucks to 900 bucks in a month. Now you can’t afford to live there anymore, and you are put out because of that grocery store.

The turning of a “bad” area to a “good” area. Usually rich, white people move into a socially undesirable area (lots of crime reports, poor infrastructure, etc.) then begin making it a socially desirable area (better schools, more parks, high-end restaurants, etc). This drives up the price, eventually pricing out the people who lived in there first when it was a socially undesirable area.

It is bad because it forcibly removes people out of their homes (that could have been there for generations!) for the aesthetic of the rich to come and enjoy or “start a new life”. So, depending on how you look at it, is a good thing for the rich so they can have more areas and not be scared of the socially undesirable areas. But is awful for the people who live in the socially undesirable areas, because to them, it is home and they are, usually, poor and cannot afford to move places like the rich can, will, and have.

Imagine two communities of low income people.

In the first community, the local government invests in education and infrastructure. Eventually, the standard of living of the younger generation goes up, and instead of leaving the community, they stay and improve it. Over time, it eventually becomes a middle income neighborhood, with the same inhabitants still living there, but now with a higher standard of living.

In the second community, wealthy outsiders move into the neighborhood. They start opening fancy shops, restaurants, expensive apartments, etc. None of this money goes to the low income inhabitants. Eventually, the lower income people can no longer afford to live in the neighborhood because everything got too expensive, so they are forced to leave.

The latter is gentrification. It is seen as bad because while on the surface it seems like the neighborhood is getting cleaned up, in reality the lower income people are simply pushed out with no benefit.