“It’s Not a Crisis, It’s an Opportunity”

Repurposed sign designed by young adult residents of a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Philadelphia, PA.

I started the Facebook page Housing Justice Headlines in early 2019 as a way to aggregate and share all of the articles I was reading related to the housing crisis. As a public page, anyone can see what I post, so I expected to eventually get some angry comments about Sharia Law or building walls. I was not surprised then, when I got into a heated discussion with a commenter over a rather boring Newsweek article about AOC’s connecting student debt and low wages to young people’s inability to buy homes. The exchange was silly because most people accept that low wages and lots of debt are in fact barriers to buying a home. But one thing this person wrote really struck me – “It’s not a crisis, it’s an opportunity.” I couldn’t grasp it at first. “How could anyone regard displacement, eviction, and skyrocketing rents as anything other than a crisis with devastating effects on actual humans, families, and communities?” Corporations certainly make those kind of emotion-free calculations all the time, but how could some regular working guy with a cowboy hat celebrate his neighbor’s loss as his own gain? I eventually came across two items that helped me make sense of that comment. Continue reading ““It’s Not a Crisis, It’s an Opportunity””

“It’s Not a Crisis, It’s an Opportunity”

Review: Gentrifier By John Joe Schlichtman, Jason Patch, and Marc Lamont Hill Foreword by Peter Marcuse

Image result for gentrifier book

GENTRIFIER
By John Joe Schlichtman, Jason Patch, and Marc Lamont Hill
Foreword by Peter Marcuse
UTP Insights
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2017
World Rights
256 Pages

If you are reading this review, there is a good chance that you may be a gentrifier. Hopefully it also means that you are curious about your role in the process of gentrification and open to picking apart what exactly is meant when gentrification is used by academics, activists, and policy makers to describe particular types of urban development. If not you will have a bad time. There is much in this book that will be controversial, flying in the face of conventional wisdom and slogans about gentrification, demanding that those of us with some skin in the game depart from the well-worn paths of description and condemnation to demand something bigger: a transformative approach to housing and community development policy (199). Continue reading “Review: Gentrifier By John Joe Schlichtman, Jason Patch, and Marc Lamont Hill Foreword by Peter Marcuse”

Review: Gentrifier By John Joe Schlichtman, Jason Patch, and Marc Lamont Hill Foreword by Peter Marcuse