The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) released Gentrification and Disinvestment 2020, a report analyzing five-year data from the American Community Survey (ACS) collected during the periods 2008-2012 and 2013-2017 on neighborhood change and gentrification. Read a copy of the full report here.
As COVID-19 poses unprecedented threats to communities and demands many of us stay at home, it is more important than ever for city residents to have access to safe, affordable housing.
Despite this, newly released data on gentrification and disinvestment from the NCRC suggests that families face increasing difficulties securing affordable housing and paying rent. An analysis of New Orleans specific data reveals highly concentrated gentrification in economically vulnerable neighborhoods, placing many families at risk of displacement.
Since Hurricane Katrina, rising development in New Orleans has intensified gentrification and pushed many families from their homes. According to the report, thirteen New Orleans census tracts are actively gentrifying, meaning they are experiencing increases in income, home values, and college attainment despite having recently had home values and incomes in the lower 40th percentile. Gentrifying areas include parts of the Mid-City, Broadmoor, Central City, Treme, 7th Ward, Holy Cross, McDonogh, and Irish Channel neighborhoods. Fifty-one census tracts are also in the 40th percentile for income and home value and are considered likely candidates for gentrification. By these measures, New Orleans is now the 5th-most intensely gentrifying US city and the threat of displacement is only increasing.
New Orleans is gentrifying at an abnormally rapid rate compared to most US cities. (Source: Richardson, Jason, Bruce Mitchell, and Jad Edlebi. “Gentrification and Disinvestment 2020.” National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC). June 2020. Accessed July 01, 2020. https://ncrc.org/gentrification20/#easy-footnote-bottom-12-75440.)
Find your neighborhood on this map of gentrifying and gentrification-eligible neighborhoods in New Orleans. Also included are “Opportunity Zones,” or economically-distressed census tracts indicated as priority areas for private investment (Source: Richardson, Jason, Bruce Mitchell, and Jad Edlebi. “Gentrification and Disinvestment 2020.” National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC). June 2020. Accessed July 01, 2020. https://ncrc.org/gentrification20/#easy-footnote-bottom-12-75440.)
The NCRC also found that families of color are hit first and hardest by gentrification. People of color make up a large portion of the country’s renters who are more likely to be pushed from their neighborhoods when prices rise due to gentrification. Further, renters are less likely to benefit from new investment in their communities. As this report illuminates, countless families of color risk losing their homes if action is not taken to protect the longtime residents of New Orleans.
Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by gentrification nationwide. (Source: Richardson, Jason, Bruce Mitchell, and Jad Edlebi. “Gentrification and Disinvestment 2020.” National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC). June 2020. Accessed July 01, 2020. https://ncrc.org/gentrification20/#easy-footnote-bottom-12-75440.)
According to the NCRC, “chronic disinvestment in lower-income communities will undoubtedly be exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.” We need solutions that keep people in their homes while increasing investment in their neighborhoods. NCRC advocates passing and expanding the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to drive investment to lower-income communities and families on the frontlines of gentrification.