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Gentrification: Good or Bad for the Economy?

Updated: Aug 29, 2021

What is gentrification? Gentrification is the transformation of a city neighborhood from low value to high value. Gentrification can be sometimes viewed as a course of urban development. The residents that are living in these areas in which they choose to develop are usually poor individuals. This act ultimately leads to displacement of a few due to increased rents and living costs brought about by these renovations.

Gentrification has a direct impact on the housing market dynamics. It changes the entire scenery in these urban areas, by implementing new construction buildings i.e. offices, houses, apartment/condo buildings, etc.

The talk about gentrification is a social issue amongst our local economy that may set a few benefits and disadvantages. Recent talks about the Fair Housing Act will also play a part in this research as it connects to the implications of being gentrified. Amongst that, there are many underlying causes of gentrification.

The lead causes of gentrification can range from a variety of things according to the CDC “Some literature suggests that it is caused by social and cultural factors such as family structure, rapid job growth, lack of housing, traffic congestion, and public-sector policies. Gentrification can occur on a small or large scale”. The causes can also lead to problems in many individuals’ health. According to a viewpoint from the health sector, when an area is being gentrified it can lead to a lot of mental distress and health implications that affects certain groups of people. The certain types of groups that are included are the poor, women, elderly, children, etc. Other reasons that lead to decisions on whether to gentrify an area are contributed due to rapid job growth, tight housing market dynamic, and increased traffic congestion. The benefits of this process has good impact on many communities according to different research perspectives. Reading up on the article “How gentrification benefits long-time residents of low income neighborhoods (Cortright, 2019)” stated one of the benefits being a decrease in the poverty level. What this is explaining is that when you put a high class of people in with a lower class of people, it can even out or decrease poverty because the population of the higher class may outweigh the lower class population. Another advantage that advances the gentrified areas is the decrease in crime rates that propels the actuality of successful gentrification.

What do you think? Is gentrification helping or hurting our economy? Let’s discuss. Post your thoughts!


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