Not an Investment but a Home
by aleksandram on October 5, 2017 - 4:32pm
The article “When Gentrification Knocks on the Wrong Door” by David Gonzalez shows the growing problem of gentrification in New York City and especially in the South Bronx. It discusses how this neighborhood has attracted the attention of new and rich investors over the past year since it was once known as the “Irish Fifth Avenue”. As a result, investors and new residents have started asking every house owner in the area whether they would be willing to sell their property. It also draws a comparison with what happened a few years earlier in Brooklyn. This article illustrates the reality of living in an old neighborhood were a large number of people with a significantly large income want to move into. As a result, the residents are afraid that these new investors and residents will change their neighborhood’s image and the overall rents. The author also shows how the community has united to take a stand against new developments. Together, they have received $ 40,000 “to explore possible new uses for city buildings” in the neighborhood. Furthermore, the author points out that right now, most of the residents refuse to sell their property as a political act in order to ensure the development happening will be checked by the city first.
In this social issue, many key players are involved such as the individuals, the community, the new investors and the mayor’s office. I believe that the individuals and the community have a right to be afraid of the dangers of gentrification because this neighborhood is their home and it is designed in their image. New investors are coming in and wanting to change it or to build something completely different which will inevitably change things such as rents. The already established residents can try to fight it. However, if the mayor’s office is not helping them in any way, then they may be on the losing side of the development. Most cities want new and richer residents in them or new developments because that leads to a bigger and stronger economy for the whole city. Nevertheless, it still needs to take care of its already established residents. Consequently, this causes a dilemma for city officials and thus, a roadblock to solving the issue of gentrification. A possible solution to this problem would be for landlords to only increase the rent of their tenants by an already established percentage. Furthermore, if residents are pushed out of their neighborhoods due to new development, the city should help these residents find a new home and not leave them to fend for themselves and thus, cause a problem due to displacement.