The cost of housing caused by inflation
Can make keeping a home a frustration,
Because quick land speculators
And relaxed government regulators
Can increase bad gentrification.
While many black homeowner's have overcome the odds and purchased the American Dream, a glaring fact remains that many black homeowner ignore. It's a word that's on the minds and lips of a growing number of social, political and black activist.
The word is "Gentrification." The Wikepedia encyclopedia defines gentrification this way. "When low-cost, physically deteriorated neighborhoods undergo physical renovation and an increase in property values." This is quickly followed by an influx of wealthier residents who often displace the prior lower income residents.
Gentrification comes from the word "gentry", meaning people of gentle birth, good breeding, or high social position. This is a term symbolizing the arrival of wealthier people in a historically lower or middle income community.
Gentrification normally refers to changes in lower or middle income neighborhoods. It begins when a declining and usually partially abandoned neighborhood starts to look attractive to housing speculators and quick profit opportunist.
Many opponents of gentrification point out the human cost to a neighborhood's lower and middle income residents and homeowners. Because of gentrification, lower income homeowners face higher property taxes and other related cost.
Gentrification is slowly and quietly causing painful realities in more urban centers across the country. In addition, rural counties also report this phenomenon coming to lower income white communities.
Gentrification often starts slowly and builds momentum quickly like a snowball. The harm usually comes unintentionally to the existing population by the incoming population. Gentrification is where higher income households displace lower income residents of a neighborhood. When this happens, affordable housing slowly disappears for low and middle-income residents.
Because gentrification gains momemtum by land speculation to begin with, many opponents suggest removing specific land from the open market. Doing this could help to keep property prices from rising beyond the reach of low and middle class residents and prevent displacement of current residents.
More politicians must act to create and preserve affordable housing to balance upscale development caused by increased gentrification. If not, more low and middle class African-American and Latino households will continue to risk the danger of displacement.
How Gentrification Affects Low and Middle Income Black Homeowners.
The quickest way black homeowners feel the effects of gentrification comes through the jolt of a property tax increase.
Property taxes base their calculation on a percentage of a property's assessed value. So, as property values increase in a neighborhood, municipalities will reassess the values of properties within gentrifying communities.
This often results in higher property taxes for the neighborhood's homeowners. If the homeowners cannot afford the tax increases, they must sell or risk losing their home. If you're a renter, the landlord will simply pass the increase to you in the form of a rent increase. This happens everyday in increasing numbers.
The increase in property taxes can sometimes force low and middle-income homeowners and those on fixed incomes to sell their homes and seek refuge in cheaper neighborhoods, towns or even states.
The positive side to this coin (if there is one) is if you're a homeowner facing rising property taxes, unlike renters you stand to gain from rising house values and equity.
Creating more affluent neighborhoods through gentrification does raise a city's tax base, which in turn could lead to better services for all of its citizens. That's why it's important to elect public officials who are sensitive to the topic of gentrification. Find out where public officials who seek your vote stand on the subject of gentrification.
Next week you'll learn types of Security Lighting Most Home Burglars Hate. Have a good week.
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