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The Return of White Populations to US Cities

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Development The Return of White Populations to US Cities

Viewing 9 posts - 31 through 39 (of 39 total)
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  • #1096359
    Friendoffacts
    Friendoffacts
    Participant

    First rule of gentrification…..you don’t talk about gentrification.

    #1096542

    Eugene_C
    Participant

    Gentrification is still preferable to outflow of jobs and income. Despite the negative aspects, you can’t even begin to rebuild a city until you rebuild the income base and local job base.

    #1096565
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    …you can’t even begin to rebuild a city until you rebuild the income base and local job base.

    So very true.

    I find it ironic that most people would agree that the end goal of having a mixed-income neighborhood with residents of all types of backgrounds is ideal, and yet the idea of rich people moving into a poor neighborhood (aka: moving in the direction of making that ideal a reality) is an inherently bad thing that must be stopped.

    #1096576
    Chris Sunami
    Chris Sunami
    Participant

    I find it ironic that most people would agree that the end goal of having a mixed-income neighborhood with residents of all types of backgrounds is ideal, and yet the idea of rich people moving into a poor neighborhood (aka: moving in the direction of making that ideal a reality) is an inherently bad thing that must be stopped.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m very happy about having a racially and economically diverse neighborhood, and I’m glad to see wealthier people of any color moving in.

    However, the downside of gentrification from a social perspective is when the wealthy people moving in push all the poorer people out, either just from housing costs rising, or from the original residents being made to feel unwelcome. This isn’t a farfetched scenario, it happens frequently. For example, when OTE was beginning to gentrify, I remember more than one occasion where brand new residents called in newly-minted housing code violations on long-term residents of the neighborhood (one was the famous sign battle documented in “Flag Wars”). Up unto this point I think the KLD has been a shining example of neighborhood revitalization going right, but I don’t think it’s alarmist to also have concerns.

    As far as the concept of an entire neighborhood changing racially overnight, it may seem fanciful, but it has happened before. When my grandparents moved into OTE, they were the second black family on their block. It was an all-black block within 2 years and remained so for 30.

    #1096592
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    However, the downside of gentrification from a social perspective is when the wealthy people moving in push all the poorer people out, either just from housing costs rising, or from the original residents being made to feel unwelcome. This isn’t a farfetched scenario, it happens frequently.

    Of course it happens, and that’s certainly unfortunate. I do think that there’s a degree of “wiggle room” when it comes to adding more residents to a neighborhood like the KLD without displacing anyone at all due to the amount of empty homes and open land that are available in the area. Hopefully none of the actions of the people you originally mentioned spotting near your house made you feel unwelcome in your own neighborhood.

    …I don’t think it’s alarmist to also have concerns.

    Concerns are great, but what’s the solution? Rent control? Homeownership assistance for renters? Homeowner improvement grants for existing residences? Adult education and job placement assistance for current residents with low paying jobs so they can afford to stay if/when property values rise?

    I think a lot of those ideas are a part of the PACT blueprint for the neighborhood in order to help guide new development and to help those who currently live on the Near East Side from being pushed out:

    http://eastpact.org/blueprint-for-community-investment/

    Of course, PACT wasn’t without its fair share of current resident detractors and critics at public input meetings. There’s no universal solution to an issue like gentrification if there’s no universal definition of what it actually means, but I think there’s at least a guideline in place that takes a lot of things like that into consideration that was never really a part of a neighborhood plan for the evolution of The Short North or German Village or other areas in the past.

    #1096593

    InnerCore
    Participant

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m very happy about having a racially and economically diverse neighborhood, and I’m glad to see wealthier people of any color moving in.

    However, the downside of gentrification from a social perspective is when the wealthy people moving in push all the poorer people out, either just from housing costs rising, or from the original residents being made to feel unwelcome. This isn’t a farfetched scenario, it happens frequently. For example, when OTE was beginning to gentrify, I remember more than one occasion where brand new residents called in newly-minted housing code violations on long-term residents of the neighborhood (one was the famous sign battle documented in “Flag Wars”). Up unto this point I think the KLD has been a shining example of neighborhood revitalization going right, but I don’t think it’s alarmist to also have concerns.

    As far as the concept of an entire neighborhood changing racially overnight, it may seem fanciful, but it has happened before. When my grandparents moved into OTE, they were the second black family on their block. It was an all-black block within 2 years and remained so for 30.

    Yeah I agree here. I also don’t want to speak of other people but I think right now I think the paradigm is that wealth people moving in and lower income people remaining are mutually exclusive.

    To go back to a quote from the original article:
    “I think you’re going to have class segregation no matter what you do. It would be nice to have people of all classes living right next to each other in gentrified downtowns. That’s probably not going to happen. It is true that a gentrified area tends to become less diverse. Cities can’t solve all problems.”

    The vast majority of the lower income people in most of these areas that are going to get gentrified are not property owners. So wealth people moving in only raises prices and forces them out. It can even be tough for propety owners as well. You have people who may own and are on a fixed income and the values increase they essentially can’t afford the new property taxes and are therefor forced to sell.

    So when we’ve gone into areas to gentrify them for a profit its usually met with heavy resistance from the locals. They come to the city meetings to argue against us and they aren’t arguing to keep wealth white people out because they don’t want mixed income communities, they’re arguing to keep them out because they know its usually an “us vs. them” situation.

    Making things worse the white flight that happened in the past was the wealth leaving the cities and moving to the suburbs. So the lower income people were left IN the cities where they still had better access to public transit, and a better connected area. This time you have the wealth moving back to the city and therefore pushing the less wealthy out to the less connected areas where they will be even more unequipped to succeed.

    #1096769

    honestlyinsincere
    Participant

    Are you saying that people shouldn’t call in housing code violations? Does living in a neighborhood for a couple of decades offer exemption from city ordinances?

    The whole idea of a neighborhood belonging to a certain group of people is utterly ludicrous. Isn’t the progressive ideal to support integration? You can’t have integration without people of different income levels living nearby.

    As Walker asked, what’s the solution? Well, if we could muster up the political support for affordable housing mandates, that would be a start. Mixed-income housing should be a goal for every neighborhood in the city, and every city in the metro region. It would also be worthwhile to consider the voluntary nature of Section 8 housing subsidies to address economic segregation. There are also some innovative affordable housing models like land trusts and conservation districts that our non-profit, corporate, and civic leaders should be discussing.

    The talk of neighborhood intruders, however, is not advancing these solutions. It only further divides us.

    #1096775

    jackoh
    Participant

    Why should housing code provisions (and violations) be “city wide?” Shouldn’t neighborhoods be able to have a say on what the codes determining their configuration should be? And why is it that neighborhoods should not belong to those living in them (as opposed to those that own the land and structures that comprise them)? Ownership (read capital) is the factor that is given predominant place in the decision making for how life is to be lived in this society, and this may be at the expense of those who actually have to live their lives without the benefit of ownership but also have to live in a physical space structured and determined by those who do not physically share that space, would not if they could, and do not share the daily experience of those who do.

    #1096782

    InnerCore
    Participant

    I don’t think its about saying we shouldn’t support integration. Right not there isn’t integration and both the lower income and higher income people know it. The higher income people usually come into an area with the expectation that the higher values and new developments will push the lower income people out. So any integration if at all is just temporary and until the area is fully gentrified. So from the lower income persons perspective they are intruders to them. Its fine and dandy to talk about things further dividing us and how we should work together but their reality is that they are going to get pushed out. When you live in an area for a long time and then get pushed out by no fault of your own it has to hurt.

    Keep in mind I work in development where I’m on the other side pushing these people out. Do I wish we did things differently? Yes. However were a private business and need to make money. So we therefore have to basically cater to the market place and the standards of most other businesses. So we could voluntarily provide affordable housing at a loss but then we’d be out of business and that doesn’t help anyone. Therefore we need better regulations that all developers would have to adhere too making it an even playing field.

    So my suggestions would be to first have some sort of inclusionary zoning. That is in order to build new units a percentage of those units would need to be affordable housing. That therefor ensures that all neighborhoods have affordable options and pushes the cost structure on to the new residents. The way we do affordable housing is backwards because we tend to make large affordable housing developments and then stick them in undesirable locations. This increases the likelihood those people continue to need assistance. It also segregates the community and the wealthy are able to move into area making them entirely wealthy leaving other areas to crumble with little taxes for schools, community, etc. So the lower income people live in lower income areas with poor schools and then its completely their fault their child doesn’t perform as well as the kid in the great area with great schools.

    My next suggestion would be to have a better property tax system. Right now we primarily have homestead for seniors. Their should be a homestead for low income people and it should be calculated differently. It shouldn’t be an exemption of a certain amount but instead tied to the value at which you purchase. So for example lets say you buy a house for $80k and your property tax $100 a month. Sure a $50k exemption will help but what happens when the value of the houses in the area reach $300k. You’d still have to pay taxes on a $250k house value which is probably more than you can afford. Instead they should still value your house at $300k but each year your property tax bill should only go up acording to some inflation index.

    So if you bought the house for $80k and have been there for 20 years then your $100 a month tax bill could have gone up at most to $180 (100 x 1.03^20) if inflation average 3%. That would be less than if the values went up to $300k, with a $50k exemption so you’d have a value of $250k and say a $310 a month tax bill. Keep in mind if someone purchased a house for $80k with a 5% FHA loan their payment would be $560. A $210 increase in their property tax bill is a 37.5% increase to their monthly payment.

    So basically if you move into an area and buy a house, the increase in the property taxes in that area should be the burden of the new people moving in and purchasing at the higher rates. The way in which we calculate and use property taxes basically ensures segregation. When wealthy people move into an area, the property taxes rise to a level that only they can afford and then those property taxes are used to make there areas and schools better so they can live in their secluded communities protected from the outside. The notion that we have public schools is a sham. We have private community schools, but I digress..

Viewing 9 posts - 31 through 39 (of 39 total)

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