When looking for a house people consider the neighborhood, the schools, the distance from work, price range and hope for stability in the future. When limited income is a large factor of the decision many people find neighborhoods that not only fit their socioeconomic background but also one that fits around their culture. Comparing cities in Los Angeles like Leimert Park and Boyle Heights the price in real estate is practically the same, the main difference is cultural backgrounds. Leimert Park is predominantly African-American as for Boyle Heights, is Latino. For many generations families have occupied the same home but hardly ever purchase these properties; in these lower socioeconomic neighborhoods percent of renters can go up to 61% leaving a small minority of home owners (…). Recently, in these neighborhoods house prices have begun to grow exponentially leaving a even larger gap between average income and average house value causing already pricy rent to sky rocket. This leaves many family unable to pay rent and for the first time in multiple generations people have to look for houses in new cities that either are too far from the urban metropolitan center of the city where most adults work and/or have find cheaper rent in suburbs which lack cultural backgrounds and often affordable rent as well, leaving these people stuck with multiple unobtainable options.
For the first time in decades, the young upper middle class is no longer interested in the suburbs. The urban city vibes are drawing them in and leaving low class citizens stuck because it’s to too expansive in the city center and more suburban neighborhoods leave urban city jobs inaccessible. Many large cities are cosmopolitan. Los Angeles is cosmopolitan, but gentrification is eradicating the most important part of the city. Gentrification Is, the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste. (…) Gentrification comes with an impressive amount of positive attributes but is also accompanied with an outrageous amount of negative effects. Gentrification is seen as a disease to many large urban cities in America. Gentrification has many causes and each comes with an effect. Gentrification seems impossible to coexist with but, many cites across America are battling these effects with the implementation of various tools, and some are more effective than others and, with the correct understand of society, economics and laws, everyone can coexist and benefit from gentrification and no longer allow it diminish neighborhoods. Cities across America want to rid homelessness. In 2014 Google attempted to right their wrong; Google was accused of driving up rent so in response they came up with a shower bus for the homeless. Unfortunately, the solutions is a replication of the problem. A shower in a bus; a gentrifying concept to pick up and clean the dirty and present them fresh and pleasing for those around. The idea that a shower bus is the solution is absurd, similar to putting a bandaid on a broken leg. Gentrification is moving more and more people out of their home and into the streets. In cities like San Fransisco, the creation of a bed bus too wouldn’t make a dent in the homeless population either, a few two shower busses won’t wash away the existence of the 7500 plus homeless people. A shower bus isn’t a solution.
In Los Angeles, Skid row is shrinking but the homeless population is growing. Downtown LA is where you can exit the Disney concert hall and make one turn into the new restaurants bars and shops or make the wrong turn and end up in LAs most impoverished neighborhood, including blocks of tents sheltering the mentally ill and financially unstable. The smell alone will cause you to doubt you’re even in America anymore. The ratio or shelter beds to homeless people is among the nations lowest; approximately 25% of homeless people are sheltered in LA in comparison to nearly 100% in New York City and Salt Lake City. A few decades ago Downtown was essentially industrial and undesirable, leaving it to be the ideal area to abandon the homeless. Now that Downtown is becoming the urban center and most desirable section of the city, gentrification is eating up skid row but the homeless problem is only growing exponentially.
A decade ago LA decided to crack down on the homeless problem and decided to criminalize homelessness. The Safer City Initiative added 50 cops to a 1 square mile radius. Cops began giving tickets for everything, loitering, jaywalking, littering, etc,. The irony of giving the homeless tickets is outrageous; these people can’t afford homes let alone petty fee. Plus, to prove its lack of purpose, crime rates exploded in the are. Using city resources to further harm the already hopeless citizen is counterproductive. The same amount of money going into criminalizing the homeless can be instilled to help get them off the streets. LA should take the same funds and invest them into cursing the homelessness problems. Instead of allowing housing cost to sky rocket and buildings to stay vacant, buildings around skid row should be turned into shelters, housing for families, resources focused on employment, education, counseling, nutrition, health, transportation and health. Women, children, veterans, the elderly and many more groups of people fall into homelessness due to poverty, LA should approach homelessness with effective and proactive cures, not criminalization and tolerance to further impoverishing these people with gentrification to their area and expecting them to dissipate and/or relocate.
Out with the old and in with the new, literally. Gentrification is pushing the elderly out and replacing them with the youth. 14.5% of the population is elderly, of that percentage 1/3 senior households have no leftover money or are in debt every month. 1/2 of the single and 1/4 of the couples live in the “gap” between poverty and economic security which leaves them lacking in financial resources to pay for basic needs. On average, women receive less than men, and women of color receive even less due to lower average lifetime earnings . Elders of color are most at risk for unemployment and homelessness. In cities across the nation, from the Bronx to Inglewood, the elderly are rapidly being displaced due to gentrification. By the age of 65, the elderly are no longer expected to work. By this age people of color have been comfortably living in the same house, in the same neighborhood for many years, but all of a sudden rents have been raising. For the first time, these people can no longer afford to live in these neighborhoods that they’ve grown old in. In cities like LA, the homeless population is growing and a significant amount of the new additions are elderly.
Cities across the nation can help fix the adverse effects of gentrification by using the Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index) which is a, “measure of the income that older adults need to meet their basic needs and age in place with dignity.” The Elder Index is specific to location, housing, size and health status and calculates the cost of housing, health care, transportation, food and miscellaneous essentials which allows the calculation of economic security by location for the elderly. If cities like LA establish policies that incorporate the information from the Elderly Index, then the vulnerable percentage of our population cant be run out of their homes because the younger generation decided to move in and liven it up.
A common argument is, gentrification is beneficial. Statistically, gentrification does benefit cities, but only for those moving in. Cities such as Inglewood were once white neighborhoods, white flight; starting in the 1950s and 1960s “white city-dwellers moved to the suburbs to escape the influx of minorities.” In inner cities there is more policing now, better schools, garbage gets collected, now that they’ve come back to the urban neighborhoods they’ve brought along Starbucks, Whole Foods, boutiques and more. All of these things are great, except that people of color have always lived in there neighborhoods, but now that there are more white people, things are getting better and as things finally get better in their neighborhoods, people of color can no longer afford to stay. Crime rates lower in gentrified cities partially because of racism, the younger white generation is still scared of people of color, they only enjoy certain aspects of their culture but the rest they want stripped away from their streets.
For generations now, minorities have occupied these neighborhoods and while doing so, their vibrant ethnicities have brought character, history and more. Now that the young white population is into these more urban and ethnic neighborhoods they’ve began to bogart them, draining them into a bland oblivion of ordinary neighborhoods. This younger generation suffers from “Christopher Columbus Syndrome”, they believed they’ve discovered something new but these are neighborhoods where people have already created something for themselves and now its being replaced by things more palatable to the middle class taste. In LA protests around trendy coffee shops, in Brooklan locals are insulted by a new restaurant with, “decor that included fake bullet holes and a menu that offered a drink called “40 ounce rosé” (malt liquor and wine) served in a paper bag.” White America is Columbasing the culture within these neighborhoods.
In gentrified neighborhoods, the housing market rises. Some of the home owners are people of color and they’ve maintained their homes for may years, and The invaders are compelled to buy the few properties left and manage to do so by buying them out. This concept causes reverse migration, the elderly specifically are already struggling and the opportunity to be bought out and to move to much cheaper cities for a better way of life is much more comforting.