Saturday, August 06, 2005

Man-Bites-Dog Story

The Times had a piece the other day about how Hoboken is attempting to gentrify without evicting artists. The article repeats the conventional wisdom that gentrification causes displacement. But is this true? More than a year ago, I wrote for the New York Observer and Metropolis magazine about research conducted by Columbia Professor Lance Freeman that showed gentrification does NOT cause displacement. (You may have also seen a USA Today article about this more recently, which just so happened to have very similar quotes from the people I interviewed for my two pieces, but I digress.) How can it be that gentrification doesn’t cause displacement?

What [Mr. Freeman’s] data says is this: Low-income people in gentrifying neighborhoods are, in fact, more likely to stay in their apartments longer than low-income people in non-gentrifying neighborhoods.”

Click on my archived New York Observer article for a more in depth explanation.