Data that gives a clear indication of the effects of gentrification is still difficult to come by. Some people involved in the study of gentrification say that it has not been going on long enough to allow for detailed study and that more time is needed to generate real numbers. But people who have lived through gentrification and have lost their homes and jobs because of it say that good data that shows the true effects of gentrification is being suppressed. After all, if the wealthy control the media, then information that could implicate the wealthy in a plot to destroy urban neighborhoods is probably not going to see the light of day.
The Reality of Gentrification
Gentrification is the process of allowing property developers to build new luxury housing in areas that are currently home to low-income families. The intention is to encourage a rise in property values for the area that will, in turn, benefit the entire community. The argument for gentrification is that it takes currently abandoned properties and turns them into pillars of the community. But the reality is very different, and it is creating a sense of inequality in big cities.
Social Justice in the Face of Gentrification
If a city rezones an area in favor of gentrification, then all of the properties within that area can be subject to drastic changes. Gentrification has not only displaced thousands of low-income families, but it has also forced small businesses to relocate or decide to close their doors for good. When these types of actions are written off as being “good for the community,” then the kind of inequality that can create severe poverty begins. We are a group that wants to prevent gentrification from destroying communities and forcing small businesses to make decisions that could cause them to close down.
The Justice of the People
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is attempting to get legislation approved that would create 200,000 new affordable housing units in the city over the next several years. But while the mayor is proposing legislation that can help the situation, the city is approving building permits that destroy neighborhoods and displace families.
The main mechanism of social justice is the will of the people. That is why we invite you to join our movement to stop gentrification from destroying neighborhoods in New York City and force the city government to find a new way to create jobs and revenue for the citizens.