Monday, October 24, 2005
A Reaction to the Post on Gentrification
Here's a nice link to another blog's (Republic of T) post on the Post article I linked to this morning. Republic of T also refer's to In Shaw's post on the same Post piece. I liked the discussion of Dupont Circle & Logan. I know we've heard/read that stuff before, but still, it serves as a reminder that things are not static. If you read any history on this area, you'll find that there were once large populations of Irish & German immigrants around here (there were also working-class African American, but that fact tends to elicit fewer raised eyebrows). There were synagogues around & there was even a Kosher deli in the 1300 block H Street. Nothing really stands still for long. Neighborhoods can rise & fall & rise & fall again. There are, as the Post article points out, times when change is completely brought in by a large government/quasi-government force from the outside (like with what happened in SW, or what is happening in New London, or, um...around the future baseball stadium site). At the same time, change is sometimes the result of something more random (individual home owners) & market based (people priced out of other areas). The latter is what we are seeing around here. I (obviously) support much of the change going on around here (I'd be hard pressed to oppose the opening of quality businesses in previously vacant storefronts). I think most local residents support the changes as well. There are certainly concerns that accompany rising rents & property taxes. You can cap property taxes & offer various kinds of tax relief, but the rent issue is more difficult. Trinidad, Ivy City, Deanwood & certain neighborhoods east of the Anacostia have spent the last few years taking in residents who find that they can no longer afford Mount Pleasant, Takoma, or other gentrifying parts of the city. To what, exactly, are these renters entitled? And who has give it to them?