Many of the housing policies and investments passed in recent years can be utilized in ways that help prevent displacement. However, we haven’t often talked about them in this way, and they …
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Many of the housing policies and investments passed in recent years can be utilized in ways that help prevent displacement. However, we haven’t often talked about them in this way, and they aren’t yet big enough or broad enough to meet the scale of the challenges. In response to calls from the community to elevate the dialogue on gentrification, this overview provides background for those seeking to better understand why government must have a role, and it proposes concrete steps for fighting displacement. It is offered with great humility. These ideas don’t add up to a complete solution. However, we must reject all-or-nothing thinking that can be an excuse for inaction. Where we can make an impact, we must, and we can certainly do much more to fight displacement.
A growing preference for urban living and growth are also powerful drivers of gentrification, but government’s historic role in segregation and disinvestment creates special responsibility to utilize public policy tools to mitigate and reduce the negative effects of past discrimination. The goal is to continue investing in areas with great need, without fueling involuntary displacement. This work requires collaboration beyond government, including real space for leadership from impacted residents. There are many possible tools, a few of which are listed below and there is great potential for future partnership between government and community to take our actions to the next level.
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