Washington, .- When the economy of a city goes well, its neighborhoods attract new inhabitants eager to gain good employment opportunities; an arrival that can expel neighbors with less income and is known as gentrification, the phenomenon that Washington and New York lead in the country.
Although gentrification increases the value of properties and generates investments in areas that were abandoned or deteriorated, it also displaces those residents who do not benefit from the economic improvement and, suddenly, can not afford the high prices that their new neighbors are facing. willing to pay.
According to a study published today by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), seven US cities they concentrated half of the gentrification processes from 2000 to 2013: New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Diego and Chicago.
All these cities have vibrant economies that, while improving the lives of many workers, forced more than 130,000 people to leave their neighborhoods, feeling unable to face the new costs of living.
Hispanic and African-American residents are the main affected by this phenomenon.
More than 110,000 African-American residents have left the traditionally inhabited areas and nearly 25,000 Latinos have experienced the same, the report said.
Washington was the city where most neighbors faced gentrification processes in relation to its total population: At least 20,000 African-American residents of the capital left their neighborhoods by the arrival of new inhabitants with better studies, jobs and income.
Thus, 40% of Washington’s neighborhoods were gentrified, placing this city as the leader in the number of low-income areas transformed thanks to its very high economic growth.
Another large metropolitan area, New York, the most populous in the country, was the city in which more people left their neighborhoods for the same reason.
According to the study, those neighborhoods that experienced this process of gentrification are the same as in 2000 were below 40%, according to the average income level of its inhabitants and the value of its real estate market.
Although this phenomenon was concentrated in large and dynamic cities, it also appeared in smaller places, especially in areas closer to commercial areas.
For example, in Portland, Oregon, 13% of the African-American community was displaced from their neighborhoods throughout the decade analyzed.
But the general dynamics provokes, as denounced by this organization, that “only a handful of the largest cities in the country” receive investments in infrastructure and welcome high-income residents.
“Meanwhile, other regions of the US languish,” the report says.
In addition, the research found another phenomenon parallel to gentrification: While the poorest neighborhoods attracted new neighbors that raised their level and cost of living in a short time, those places of moderate or low-middle income did not experience this gentrifying process .
These areas “remained impoverished”, they did not receive investments and they did not generate construction booms, which, on the other hand, keeps them “vulnerable to future gentrifications and displacements.” (EFEUSA)