Gentrification. Something that everyone sees in their everyday lives, yet no one truly understands it. It’s something that deeply affects the culture within many Urban neighborhoods around the world. Something that affects the lives of many families. But No one is noticing the act of Gentrification raising it’s gun high in the air and aiming it towards low income families within Hispanic Communities.
Now, let me break down what this word actually means. Imagine finding your favorite local hot spot. This is a place where you often go to because it has all your favorite food places, your favorite place to hang out with your best friends, and things you love to do everyday. Now imagine all of that had just vanished. Imagine going home after a rough day, looking forward to be at peace in the space you love most, just to find out your rent had doubled. Or that your being evicted. Picture Being ripped from your home, thrown into the streets, then having to sit there missing what home feels like. That’s Gentrification. But if you want to get technical, Gentrification means the process of improving houses or districts to middle-class taste. Or wealthy taste.
When people hear their neighborhood is being Gentrified, They think they are getting lower crime rate, renovated houses, and better schools. Which is true, But what it really means Is the wealthy are looking to make life better for themselves instead of the community. You see, Low income families don’t hate Gentrification. They just hate that they don’t get to stick around long enough to see its benefits. According to The Washington Post, throughout the overall country the costs of renting urban homes and apartments have risen substantially in recent years. Which prove low income families have a higher rate of housing instability.
Also take the years of 2004 to 2014 in the city of Chicago for example. The household income had risen by 25% and rent by 53%. When the wealthy buy new homes. They don’t realize they are creating homelessness for others. It’s even stated by the New York Times that “Developers will go as far as calling inspectors and making up false accusations just to get people out of their homes.” For instance, landlords may stop accepting rent and take the matter to court, give misinformation on succession rights, abuse construction practices, and more. Many of the rent-stabilized tenants do not wish to leave their neighborhoods because it is their home, and their home holds sentient, which is sometimes more powerful than increasing rent prices. The low-income residents then remain in the neighborhood by living in substandard housing or paying a larger percentage of their income for rent. Generally, tenant evictions increase as a result of unfair landlord practices in gentrified neighborhoods. We need to understand that gentrification isn’t about making neighborhoods better, It’s a system that pushes low income families and people of color out of their homes.
For example, According to The Chicago Tribune, In Chicago Old hispanic neighborhoods such as Logan Square, lost more than 20,000 Hispanics, Belmont cragin had a 26 percent drop, and Humboldt Park by 5 percent. While Pilsen’s population overall plummeted by nearly 41 percent — that 41 percent are the number of families with children. High income families have increased by 22 percent in each of these neighborhoods. This is all because of Gentrification.
When you go through Big urban cites such as Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. You often see Asian, White, and Black Communities. But you never see an all Hispanic Community. If you do see one, white people are usually in the mix. A recent study has proved Latino neighborhoods are more likely to be gentrified than neighborhoods that consist of any other race. The study also implied that Latino neighborhoods are more likely to be gentrified in the traditional sense. Such as young white newcomers moving in because of the scenery or the good hotspots. However, No word on what happens to the Hispanic residents when they get pushed out.
Gentrification has done nothing but take away traditions and separated families. We need to realize the people who are affected by this are more than just dollar bills. If you continue with this mindset. Soon neighborhoods that are born with culture in them will be consumed of nothing but ghost towns instead of living heritage. Hispanics benefit America in many ways, they have made history within our soil. We can’t just let their history disappear. We need to stop gentrification and help on building safe Hispanic communities around around the world. Please Help defend Hispanic Communities.