4. Gentrification Impacts

Gentrification has become a highly controversial topic in areas where the process has occurred.  Whilst politicians, real estate companies and the middle class perceive the process as a method of countering urban decay and attracting taxpayers; the urban poor experience greater costs of living, the breakdown of their social networks and the ultimate risk of being evicted and displaced.  Whether gentrification should be supported, or whether it should be controlled, constricted and prevented is therefore a topical debate. (Bernt and Holm, 2009).

 Positive Neighbourhood Impacts: (Atkinson and Bridge, 2005)

-          Prevents a continuing spiral of decline in areas, consequently stabilising the area.  The change in tenure from predominantly renting to owner occupied also contributes to the stabilisation of the area.

-          The value of property remarkably increases in the area affected.

-          Unoccupied houses become occupied, thus reducing the vacant housing rates in the area.

-          An increase in local fiscal revenues occurs.

-          Decreased crime.

-          As well as this, the social mix witnesses an increase in the area.

-          Encouragement and increased viability of further development in the gentrified area.  This development consequently reduces suburban sprawl.

-          Visible physical rehabilitation of property occurs through a combination of private investment and state sponsorship.

Source: Notting Hill Properties
A vibrant community in Notting Hill post gentrification.
Negative Neighbourhood Impacts: (Atkinson and Bridge, 2005)

-     As the gentrification process develops, rent prices increase and the original inhabitants of the area are displaced.

-          Secondary psychological impacts may arise as a result of displacement.

-          Displaced individuals may become homeless.

-          Unsustainable speculative property price increases.

-          Resentment emerges within the community and conflict can occur between the original inhabitants and the middle class gentrifiers.

-          Affordable housing in the area becomes scarce and eventually non-existent.

-          The type of local services alters and the price increases.

-          Increased crime.

-          A loss of social diversity occurs; from the socially disparate to rich ghettos.

-          Under-occupancy and population loss to gentrified areas occurs.

-          Housing demand pressures can occur on surrounding areas when the displaced seek to relocate.

Source: CURBED
Anti-gentrification protests indicating tension between the new middle classes and the original residents.