A friend of mine shared an article from Yahoo News entitled "Report says poor are moving to nation's suburbs". Published by the Associated Press in Los Angeles, the article submits that:
Maybe the "poor" are moving to the suburbs because they can't afford to live in the cities any more. Maybe those folks that moved out of urban areas to "get away" from the city realized that's it's too expensive and inconvenient to live in the suburbs. Maybe commuting costs, traffic, property taxes, and such are impacting the lifestyle they were expecting to have.
So if you raise real estate prices in urban areas and lower them in suburban areas under the guise of affordable housing you get "gentrification".
Wikipedia defines gentrification as:
A dynamic that emerges in poor urban areas when residential shifts, urban planning, and other phenomena affect the composition of a neighborhood. Urban gentrification often involves population migration as poor residents of a neighborhood are displaced. In a community undergoing gentrification, the average income increases and average family size decreases. This generally results in the displacement of the poorer, pre-gentrification residents, who are unable to pay increased rents, and property taxes, or afford real estate. Often old industrial buildings are converted to residences and shops. New businesses, which can afford increased commercial rent, cater to a more affluent base of consumers—further increasing the appeal to higher income migrants and decreasing the accessibility to the poor. Often, resident owners unable to pay the taxes are forced to sell their residences and move to a cheaper community.
Let's take a moment to recap both sides of the gentrification discussion.
While it may be true that the "poor" are moving to the suburbs due to the increase of affordable housing, I'm not buying it. I'm not a conspiracy theorist but the dots just don't connect.
It starts now, let's get this thing done....
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.