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Published 3 years ago with 1 Comments
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  • blahblahgabor (edited 3 years ago)

    I, like the author, am a person who lives in a neighborhood that is going through gentrification. I have mixed feelings. On one hand, many of the neighborhoods in Austin had residences that needed renovation and many new small businesses have been established to provide products and services for these new residents. Most of us live in an urban area for the myriad of choices and amenities available, and more importantly, the availability of employment.

    My educational background includes urban planning, public affairs and economics, and gentrification does seem at first glance to be controversial and, perhaps, even negative for certain constituencies. On the other hand, gentrification also reflects that a city is still growing, changing and attracting citizens who can help make the city more vibrant, even better, or maybe just different. Cultural changes are inevitable in some sense.

    The reality is that economics creates winners and losers in society. In an environment of diminishing resources for local governments, the lack of political support that would help create affordable housing alternatives, and, the grim fact that poorer communities have less influence on public policy, I can't identify a workable solution.

    I know that there is a moral imperative to value each citizen and that we should have equal opportunities that should include access to affordable housing. But, I feel like there is little that can be done to mitigate this social problem. It doesn't make me feel good, but the pragmatist in me tells me to fight a battle that can be won.

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