The effects of gentrification – the movement of higher-income homeowners into low-moderate income neighborhoods – are not yet well understood. What is known – and what has been shown to be the case in a recent data analysis from Urban Wire – is that housing availability plays a huge role in the rate of gentrification. This is where we come to the meeting point of one of our more recent discussions – code clearing.
The data from the Urban Wire article linked above shows that when affluent buyers must stretch to become homeowners, they are likely to look to low-moderate income neighborhoods to purchase homes. The effect of this shift of higher-income individuals into these communities is still being studied, but it is certainly known to have an impact on the income of the city and its racial mix.
One way that we can slow the rate of gentrification, however, is to increase the availability of housing within these areas with fewer available homeownership opportunities. The best way to do this? According to Urban.org (and we obviously agree), by easing local land use, building, and zoning restrictions and encouraging alternative forms of housing like manufactured housing and accessory dwelling units.
Local Land Use
Local land use links back in a large part to something we have talked about a lot recently – code clearing. By making these empty lots livable, we are increasing the amount of living space and that will slow down the rate of gentrification. We are also encouraging everyone in the community to be more conscious of what their local land is being used for.
If you’d like to learn more about code clearing and see what we’ve been talking about recently, take a look at some of these articles to get caught up!
Building and Zoning Restrictions
With strict land-use policies in play, livable lots of land are being left unused simply because of building and zoning restrictions that were put in place before this type of housing issue became a problem. It’s time to start rethinking and challenging local restrictions to accommodate our rapidly changing neighborhoods.
Alternate Forms of Housing
Encouraging alternate forms of housing would also help to slow gentrification. It would make homes more affordable and allow more buyers at all income levels to find homes. In turn, this would slow the pace of gentrification.
Do You Have Something That You’d Like to Share?
If you would like to get in on the conversation about land use and code clearing, make sure to check in with our live meetings every Monday at Noon, Tuesday & Thursday at 6 pm via the Zoom app or through your web browser.