By Devin Valdez

It’s no secret that rents are on the rise and home values are skyrocketing. The ability to be able to afford to live on your own, whether renting or owning, is becoming un-affordable for many people.

It isn’t uncommon to hear that nowadays people are having to work 2 jobs to make ends meet, and to be able to afford their cities’ cost of living.

Longtime residents among cities in California, such as Oakland, San Francisco (and really majority of the Bay Area) and Stockton are being hit the hardest with rising rents and increases in home values. And as the prices rise more people are putting the blame toward gentrification.

By definition “gentrification,” is the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste.

Moreover, gentrification is being portrayed as a negative- as it pushes out the local, low-income individuals, and pulls in wealthier, new outsiders.

However, the displacement of low income residents, due to gentrification is one of the biggest myths that is told.

Lance Freeman of the New York Times, found that “longtime residents aren’t more likely to move when their neighborhood gentrifies; sometimes they’re actually less likely to leave (in part because of the improvements gentrification can bring).”

Although, seeing anyone lose their home is a tough pill to swallow, especially when it’s because they can no longer afford rising costs of living, gentrification can be beneficial to not just newcomers, but to the local communities and neighborhoods, as well.

Below are 4 keys points that illustrate the possible benefits of a gentrified community:

  1. Restoration: New landlords tend to buy the more affordable homes and restore what has been worn down or broker, cleaning up neighborhoods and homes, alike. Old buildings are restored also, as new businesses are built. Places like parks also see renovations to meet their new residences’ likings.
  2. Economic Growth: Gentrified neighborhoods become the new “hot spots” and are places people want to spend time in and be at. This creates a need for new, hip businesses to open and house these people, which then creates more jobs for the locals.
  3. Less Violence: NYU’s Furman Center conducted a study that proved gentrification provides its residences a place to live with less violence.
  4. Better Education: It is also believed that if property taxes rise in the gentrified neighborhoods, more public funding will be generated to public schools, providing our children better education.




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