Negative Impact of Gentrification on Society And Business

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The first time to hear the word gentrification was after overhearing a discussion between my mother and uncle. It was evident that most people in my community did not want it as she explained to him. I later heard about gentrification when the government started to upgrade some cities in New York claiming that it improved people’s lives. There were major disagreements between locals and officials regarding the practice. Politicians, the middle-class, and real estate developers identify gentrification as a way of mitigating and ending urban deterioration (Jan and Stuart 729). Some people argue that gentrification should be controlled and prevented, while others support the process. This topic is important, especially to individuals in low-income areas because they might find themselves facing gentrification. Local governments are working with the national government to improve neighborhoods, hence the need to understand the benefits and drawbacks of gentrification. Whether to support or control and prevent gentrification, the practice seems to have major drawbacks that the benefits.Gentrification refers to the improvement of low-income neighborhoods to attract wealthier tenants. There are several benefits associated with gentrification. '

First, the practice allows the observable physical restoration of property in the neighborhood (Kathy and Wyly 27). Most regions that undergo gentrification receive major improvements that attract investors and new individuals into the neighborhood. In the process, the number of unoccupied houses reduces in an area by allowing people to move in. Since the area becomes beautiful after major improvements, people are lured to live in the area as well.Secondly, gentrification reduces the rates of crime in an area since there is more security than before. The local government have enough resources to hire security firms and law enforcement officers to protect residents. Before gentrification, poor neighborhoods face many criminal incidents before of desperation of the youth in search of income. The level of poverty and unemployment in these areas remains high. After gentrification, the level of crime reduces. Gentrification has not received support from residents in low-income areas across the United States. As wealthier individuals start to inhabit poor neighborhoods, property-ownersincrease their rents. Kathy and Wyly maintain that the average rent in New York City has risen to 75 percent for the past two decades (35).

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A similar trend is evident in gentrified areas, such as Oakland, California. Some landlords throw low-income tenants out of their apartments or refuse to renew their lease to encourage new, wealthier tenants. Although it is unlawful to throw a tenant out of his/her house, the landlords know that these tenants cannot afford a lawyer. The most affected individuals after gentrification include people of color without the capacity to afford newly improved houses. Most of them end up homeless in the process (Kathy and Wyly 38). Other groups that are affected by gentrification include immigrants whose families came to America decades ago. These individuals face social, cultural, and language barriers that make them easy targets for cruel real estate developers and firms. Gentrification introduces large competitors in an area and forces local businesses to close (Roos). In an ideal world, wealthier residents moving into low-income neighborhoods means that the latter receives more business and more profits. Unfortunately, that is not the case as the wealthier individuals prefer businesses with a wide array of products. For example, wealthier individuals are likely to shop in grocery stores with wide varieties of products. The new businesses force the existing ones to alter their practices to survive and attract new residentsor cater to old customers and probably lose their business. According to Roos, rent increments affect these businesses negatively. Some of the businesses that can survive in gentrified neighborhoods include Whole Foods because they stock a wide range of products. Gentrification criminalizes people of color, especially when wealthy individuals feel threatened. Ferguson, Missouri is a good example of the negative effects of gentrification (Roos).

A young African-American male was shot by a Caucasian police officer for roaming around in the neighborhood. This further shows the dangerous effects of the stereotyping of racial minorities. Roos argues that the rate of incarceration amongst African-American and Latino males remains high compared to any other group. Most people feel at home in their neighborhoods, but their gentrification affects the whole setting of the area. For example, locals are not allowed to panhandle or sleep in public after the gentrification of their neighborhoods. Gentrification not only affects the economic status of an area but education as well. The level of graduation for children living in poor-income neighborhoods is low (Kathy and Wyly45). This may be because of limited resources in their schools or the constant violence that affect their learning. In such situations, one would hope that gentrification would enhance the lives of these students. That is not the case. It is evident that racially and economically diverse schools provide children with a better learning environment for them. It exposes them to different people that they will meet after completing their education. However, everything that happens in gentrified neighborhoods takes place in learning institutions (Jan and Stuart 736). When the practice pushes the locals out of the neighborhood, the children attending local schools are unable to attend classes. This affects their education process. Vibrant neighborhoods use social networking to thrive.

Roos claims that local residents rely on their neighbors to continue with life. When these neighbors move out, the social network is affected. Individuals that remain become outsiderssince it becomes hard to relate to newcomers. These close-knit communities disintegrate the moment new individuals’ move in and old residents move out (Roos). Although one could argue that people should create new relationships, it is difficult to foster the new ones as easy as one may think.Lastly, the public health of most residents in gentrified communities is negatively affected. These residents remain under intense stress as they fear to lose their houses due to increased prices of food and rent (Jan and Stuart 740). They exhibit physical and emotional health issues, such as depression and anxiety, heart issues, and high blood pressure (HBP). They also face the psychological trauma of losing deep social relationships.In conclusion, the issue of gentrification has been controversial since its inception. This may be because it does not allow urban development as intended in the first place.

Although the practice improves the physical appearance of neighborhoods and reduces the level of crime in neighborhoods, the different drawbacks associated with it offset these advantages. From facilitating an increase in rent, loss of businesses, criminalizing certain groups, and negatively affecting learning, social networking, and health gentrification causes more problems than benefits. Whether to support or control and prevent gentrification, the practice seems to have major drawbacks that the benefits. Therefore, it is important for local governments to involve locals before embarking on the process. Legislatures should establish laws and regulations that protect existing residents from landlords who may evict them to create space for wealthier tenants. Finally, schools should include students from low-income neighborhoods even after gentrification to reduce the number of dropouts.

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