What Gentrification Leaves Behind

Andrew Sullivan —  Sep 30 2011 @ 9:25am

Stephen Smith elaborates on the unexpected hazards of rich people sprucing up the hood:

[O]nce a neighborhood has its amenities, new development grinds to a halt. Wealthier new residents have more political savvy than the old ones, and they use this to impose a protective NIMBY shield around the neighborhood…the fact that new residents are more likely to own property and have a stake in keeping the price of housing high can’t help. It’s at this point that the cutting edge of gentrification marches onward, with the cycle repeating itself in neighborhoods farther afield. You can sugarcoat this process by talking about "spreading the wealth around," but at the end of the day most of the poor will be priced out, and those lucky enough to own their homes or have rent-regulated leases won’t value the upper-class amenities as much as they valued their old neighborhoods.