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Old 02-25-2014, 08:39 PM
 
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I wanted to get feedback from fellow progressives and liberals on the issue of gentrification. I'm graduating from college at the end of the year and I'm looking at different cities that I can move to. All things being equal, I would rather live in the urban core compared to the burbs. I do not inspire to be a yuppie but I may be a little too mainstream to be a hipster. All of this boils down to how do I address the issue of gentrification; specifically, how do I be apart of the solution instead of being part of the problem without living in a place where I would fear getting mugged?
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:16 PM
 
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First: don't assume that every place in the urban core that is not gentrified is risky for mugging. This might require a little homework but it could be as simple as visiting at night or talking to neighbors.

Second: If/when you find a safe & stable working class neighborhood don't invite your progressive/liberal friends to join you.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Metro Atlanta & Savannah, GA - Corpus Christi, TX
4,471 posts, read 7,287,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
If/when you find a safe & stable working class neighborhood don't invite your progressive/liberal friends to join you.
Wouldn't that be the opposite of the "solution"?
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
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Gentrification is a pretty complicated issue. I live in Oakland (CA). I also live in a nicer area. Since I have moved in, it has become more expensive....and it is also gentrifying a bit at its edges. But on the scheme of the Bay Area, it is fairly cheap for the amenities.

The commercial districts nearby are gentrifying. Dive bars are becoming cocktail bars. 3rd wave coffee shops with $4 lattes are next to the family owned Thai place with a menu under $12. The family oriented ice cream shop is joined by the artisan ice cream shop. Whose fault is this? I have lived in the same place for 10 years, and I appreciate all the new gourmet stuff.

I make more than 2x as much money as I did when I moved in. Does this mean I am am part of the problem, since I have rent control and am not giving up my cheap apartment but patronizing all of the new hip places. Or I am excluded from being a gentrifier because I am black and the black population is decreasing in town.

The worst of the gentrifiers are not participating in the community, or getting to now the existing community. A little bit of gentrification is OK, but turning the city into a playground for rich people only is bad.
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:23 PM
 
5,682 posts, read 8,754,172 times
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Yes, I could have asked what the OP considers the problem and the solution.

In my view, when gentrifiers drive people out of their low cost homes - that is a problem.

Also - what cities are the OP considering. I don't see gentrification being a problem in rust belt cities where the population is declining and there are cheap houses in abundance.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:12 PM
 
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"In my view, when gentrifiers drive people out of their low cost homes - that is a problem."

How are they driving them out? Putting a gun to their head and forcing them to sell their home and move?
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
3,733 posts, read 6,477,316 times
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Quote:
"In my view, when gentrifiers drive people out of their low cost homes - that is a problem."

How are they driving them out? Putting a gun to their head and forcing them to sell their home and move?
Increased rents and property taxes.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
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From what I've seen they have only been driven out of once cheap neighborhoods. That is in X city there still are affordable places to live (SF may be an exception) but not in the neighborhoods that have recently been coveted. It is bad being forced to move from a neighborhood that you have many ties to, but it is no way anything like being homeless which is rarely the result of gentrification that I have witnessed.

Also consider that some happily sell for a huge profit and move to the suburbs with extra cash; a bigger and newer house; and in a district with better schools. The 800 sq. ft. 1949 bungalow is just a happy memory and nothing more for some. The irony is that while millenials may consider these older urban areas ideal for their lifestyles, while many who live there feel just the opposite.

My advice is not to put too much stock in labels like 'yuppie' and 'hipster,' but rather treat everyone with respect and dignity that you yourself would like to be afforded.

If you were to advocate for something how about for less reliance on property taxes and more on income taxes, the former bringing a lot of older homeowners to foreclosure. I would also advocate loosening of zoning laws which artificially reduce supply and increase land values. Affordable housing is nice but only helps a select few who quite often could afford market rates in other less trendy parts of town.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
From what I've seen they have only been driven out of once cheap neighborhoods. That is in X city there still are affordable places to live (SF may be an exception) but not in the neighborhoods that have recently been coveted. It is bad being forced to move from a neighborhood that you have many ties to, but it is no way anything like being homeless which is rarely the result of gentrification that I have witnessed.
What if the affordable places do not have the stuff you need. Let's say your cheap neighborhood had abundant transit. And younger priced out because someone like me says ooh, I want to live in a transit friendly neighborhood. And then the only neighborhoods left are far for transit. Maybe you had 3 bus options to get to work, but now that you are priced out you only have one. Or none. Maybe you can't afford a car so you start to bike, but your new neighborhood has no infrastructure for bikes. Or maybe you buy a car because it is a necessity in your new suburban neighborhood, and suddenly it is eating up 20% of your income. Your QOL is worse.

Or let's say you are a new immigrant, and your old neighborhood had all the services and support that you wanted. Your ethnic grocer, your church workers in the stores that speak your language and can help you figure things out when you don't know the right word in English.

Is my desire to live in your neighborhood more important than your comfort and quality of life?

It is not all peaches and roses when you are forced out of your neighborhood.

We had some gentrification in one of the worst neighborhoods in town. It was the real estate boom so these houses in the absolute most dangerous part of Oakland, where drive bus were a nightly occurrence, were selling for $300-500k. Some people cashed out to the shiny new suburbs. Or exurbs. Hoping to escape the urban problems. Unfortunately some of those people brought their Oakland beefs with them and it wasn't the utopia they imagined. [this became a common occurrence in one of the popular exurbs, so now it has a reputation of being far and crime riddled. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/201...s-bedroom-hit/]

And it turned out the new neighborhood wasn't safer than the old one. It just had bigger homes.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:16 PM
 
Location: California
30,693 posts, read 33,456,199 times
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How to you "solve" something that isn't actually a problem but a process?
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