Twin Cities gentrification must stop

by Kaylee Anderson

A recent study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that more than one-third of Minneapolis’ low-income areas had experienced gentrification from 2000 to 2014.

The Twin Cities want neighborhoods to be approachable and safe — but at what cost? The displacement of low-income residents by way of gentrification is unforgivable.

Gentrification happens rapidly and it disproportionally affects people of color. As housing markets are ‘rehabilitated,’ developers target wealthy white-focused markets. It’s easy to see the snowball of gentrification that’s nearly always advantageous for white communities. Just like redlining or mortgage discrimination, gentrification aggravates existing racial inequities.

We need to take a stand against gentrification and ensure neighborhoods are not being overridden by corporate developers whose sole purpose is monetary gain. Perhaps legislation or better rules governing city planning could eliminate the problems associated with gentrification. In addition, we need to work to uplift communities at a grassroots level. Gentrification does nothing to help the people who need the most help — instead, it makes middle- and upper-class residents feel as though they’re “fixing” a part of their world that was previously an eyesore.

In areas where gentrification is most prominent, activism is key. Amplifying the voices of the communities will help to slow the process and get officials in the area to stop and look at what they’re doing to disadvantaged people. Only when the voices of those people living in these communities are brought to the forefront will progress be made.