What is Gentrification?

Gentrification is the term used for the influx of wealthy people (gentry) into a community and changes that occur due to this process.

Some of the main changes include:

Demographics: An increase in median income, a decline in the proportion of racial minorities, as low-income families are replaced by younger, higher-earners who can afford higher rents and house prices.

Real Estate Markets: Large increases in rents and home prices lead to increases in the number of evictions: this is the conversion of rented housing and state housing to private ownership and new development of ‘luxury’ housing.

Land Use: An increase of rates, driven up by demand for houses in well-off suburbs, forces poorer families out of these suburbs.  This is coupled with the development of apartments and high-end housing, retail, and restaurants.

Economic growth and ‘giving the community a face-lift’ are the main excuses used by politicians and developers for the gentrification of an area. Unfortunately, the benefits of these changes are often enjoyed disproportionately by the new arrivals, while the established residents find themselves economically and socially marginalised.