Capture Benefits for Homeowners and Local Businesses

GOAL 1.

Enable homeowners and local businesses to resist involuntary displacement and instead capture benefits of gentrification.

Wilshire Boulevard at Hope St., Los Angeles by Downtowngal via Wikimedia Commons

Gentrification is an inequitable phenomenon that can bring good as well as negative outcomes. An influx of higher-income residents increases property values and can bring new amenities and opportunities to underprivileged neighborhoods. Homeowners and local businesses already in the neighborhood may benefit from these changes.

However, both the literature and our research in five American cities show that current homeowners and businesses are often unable to capture these benefits. As values increase, property taxes can become too great a burden for those with fixed and very low incomes. Lower-income, elderly, and immigrant residents may be vulnerable to coercive buyouts at prices only a fraction of what their homes are worth. Businesses may struggle to stay in communities as rents increase and as their existing clientele are displaced. Meanwhile, the loss of community members and familiar businesses become additional push factors that uproot other residents from the neighborhood. Policies must break these patterns so homeowners and local businesses may stay in their communities and benefit from positive change.

Policy Innovations

With this goal, we propose three policies that can help homeowners and local businesses remain in their communities if they choose and capture more benefits from neighborhood change. Click below to learn more about each policy.

Designed for: Neighborhoods in Early-Stage Gentrification​

Neighborhood Hallmarks: currently affordable, many original residents, prices just starting to increase

If policies kick in just as prices start to rise but before they become prohibitive, then existing homeowners and businesses can potentially benefit from neighborhood change.