What is gentrification?
Gentrification is a process of neighborhood change that leads to an increase in the cost of living in a neighborhood. Gentrification often happens in neighborhoods that are home to people of color and low income communities. Because #OurNeighborhoods have been the product of long term disinvestment, some people may see new investments in the community as a “good” thing: gentrification may come with new parks, improved roads, sanitation services, new businesses, or a subway station. New development doesn’t serve the existing community and instead caters to a new demographic that is wealthier and often of a different race. Gentrification leads to an increase in the cost of living for everyone in a community– and it leads to the displacement of people from their homes, and small businesses from the neighborhoods where they have existed. It can also lead to a loss in the cultural identity of a place and increased police presence (which disproportionately targets people of color). ¹
What is displacement?
Displacement occurs in neighborhoods as a result of gentrification. Displacement is sometimes “direct” meaning that people are displaced because of a new development happening in a community. Other times displacement is “secondary” meaning that it is a result of an increase in rent in the neighborhood or problems with landlords which force residents out of their homes. Commercial displacement happens when landlords determine that they can profit more from larger corporations as tenants than a “mom and pop” shop that has been in the community for decades.²
Gentrification and displacement are fundamentally linked– gentrification ultimately leads to the displacement of residents and small businesses from the communities they have long called home.
¹Source: Development without Displacement- CJJC
²Source: Urban Displacement Project