Gentrification a good thing?

Everyone knows gentrification uproots the urban poor with higher rents, higher taxes and $4 lattes. It’s the lament of community organizers, the theme of the 2004 film Barbershop 2 and the guilty assumption of the yuppies moving in.

Carole Singleton lives in Harlem in New York City where she is a tenants rights activist in her community.

But everyone may be wrong, according to Lance Freeman, an assistant professor of urban planning at Columbia University.

In an article last month in Urban Affairs Review, Freeman reports the results of his national study of gentrification — the movement of upscale (mostly white) settlers into rundown (mostly minority) neighborhoods.

His conclusion: Gentrification drives comparatively few low-income residents from their homes. Although some are forced to move by rising costs, there isn’t much more displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods than in non-gentrifying ones.

Charlottesville has been experiencing its own gentrification, save for the Vinegar Hill experience, in Belmont, Fifeville and now the 10th and Page area of the City. As folks from other areas move in, young couples from the City as well as those from Boston, New York, etc. where do the long-term residents go? I wouldn’t say that they are being “pushed out,” as the market is what drives gentrification. Where do the young families who cannot afford the $250k+ price tags go? For more information you can read here.

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