Thursday, April 4, 2013

Interesting articles re: "filtering" vs. "gentrification" - "Halting Construction is a Terrible Way to Fight Gentrification"

Click here for one; here for another and here for another.

From the first one:
If a ton of new luxury apartments get constructed in a city, then at least some of their residents will be abandoning homes in other structures elsewhere in the area. Those homes are now free to be occupied by some less-rich people. And over time newer even more luxurious buildings will come on the market and yesterday's new luxury construction will age and filter down the socioeconomic ladder. When you see the gentrification trend outpacing the filtering trend, with higher-income families replacing lower-income families and lower-income families moving to worse-and-worse locations, that's a consequence of excessive restriction on new construction.
 And from the second:
Santiago's real problem isn't so much that his home is being replaced by a denser development as that not enough homes in the region are being replaced. When you have enough construction, you get filtering rather than gentrification. Lower-income people move into dwellings that used to house rich people but that aren't shiny and new any more and don't have the most up-to-date fashions. When you don't have enough construction, you get rich people moving into poor people's houses and installing granite countertops. 
And from the last:
 But unfortunately for longtime residents who would like to stay in their neighborhoods, politicians prefer to channel growth towards poor neighborhoods rather than risk upsetting rich people’s views and property values. And unless poor people recognize that permitting more growth in the core is the only way to save their neighborhoods, this isn’t likely to change any time soon.
So our Einsteins here behind the no-growth-at-all-costs, change nothing mantra should adjust their strategy.  We have essentially had a moratorium on new development for the past eight years.