Gentrification ruins soul of community

Imagine hundreds of displaced people, all for a “just cause”. This is a reality for thousands of communities all around the world. Gentrification is a process in which a poorer community is changed, often by a large number of richer people who improve housing and bring new business to the area, which in turn raises overall property values.

On paper, this seems like a wonderful idea, making a better place for everyone and making it even better for the economy.

However, after taking just a few minutes to think about the reality of the situation, it is clear that gentrification is overall harmful for the world. Gentrification pushes out the people who must live in the poorer areas because they cannot afford to live in the expensive areas. This leaves potentially hundreds of people homeless and displaced, forcing them to find shelter in whatever way that they can.

While you might love to see that new highway expansion because it’ll make traffic “so much better,” it’s important to recognize the destruction that is made in the wake of “innovation”. Communities and neighborhoods such as the Phillips Community are risking being paved through or developed in order to widen roads to make it easier to navigate. This is at the cost of the people who live in these communities.

As a society, is it worth displacing lower-income residents who have lived here for decades in order to widen roads, build fancier developments, or add more businesses for people moving in from other states?

There’s also a section of those that support growth called “not in my back yard”. NIMBYs are the people who want growth, as long as it doesn’t change the beauty or way of life of the area they live in. Many people fall into this category without even realizing it. Those who don’t think too much about growth often love it, until they find it happening right in front of them. The main problem with this mindset is the utter hypocrisy of it all. If growth is what you strive for, you should accept living in it.

At the end of the day, gentrification is a plague for those in less fortunate situations. Not being able to afford housing because you’ve been pushed out of your home for a so-called “greater good,” is awful at best and cruel and inhumane at worst. It’s important to know that these events can be stopped. Getting involved and speaking out to the town council can make a huge difference.