In 2000, Austin’s Guadalupe neighborhood—a 14-block area just across the interstate from the city’s downtown—was 85 percent Mexican American and 15 percent African American, with a median family income of $39,000. Sixteen years later, the neighborhood looks very different. Nearly half of its residents are white, and its median family income is $67,000. Single-family lots are now selling for $650,000. Is Guadalupe destined for a fate similar to other lower-income neighborhoods of color in knowledge hubs and superstar cities like San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C. and Boston, no longer affordable nor recognizable to their long-time residents? What happens when communities shaped by decades of discriminatory development practices are hit by powerful market forces abetted by public policies? Is the outcome inevitable?
As NPQ has noted before, resident displacement is not inevitable, but avoiding gentrification requires communities to assume control, including often ownership of some of the buildings and land, as this case from Austin illustrates.Read Debby’s Full Article at Nonprofit Quarterly
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