Austin named No. 1 most ‘surprising city’ where gentrification is displacing poor

East Austin is rapidly changing due to development and gentrification. Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman

In what is a surprise to Alternet but not to Austin residents, the city ranked No. 1 on the site’s list of “5 surprising cities where gentrification is displacing the poor.”

Alternet’s Larry Schwartz defines gentrification as “the process by which middle- and upper-middle-class populations move into formerly lower-income neighborhoods, attracted by cheaper housing (and fleeing expensive housing in more affluent areas), transforming the area, driving costs up and forcing lower-income residents out.”

“High-rise luxury condos,” “cocktail and coffee bars” and “artisan pastry shops” are cited as signs that gentrification may be responsible for a neighborhood’s shifting identity; something that, according to the article, only affects one out of 10 cities.

Commentary: 12th and Chicon — a story of gentrification

Alternet reports that the African-American population surrounding Huston-Tillotson University fell 60 percent during the 10 years following 2000. Latino population declined by 33 percent. And the white population (wait for it) increased an astounding 442 percent. The area, which was reportedly once known as the “Negro District,” is now 40 percent white.

Schwartz says, “Rents in Austin are up by 7.5% year to year, averaging now around $1200 a month.” Again, not a huge surprise to Austin residents who are, in fact, writing a $1200 check every month.

WATCH: Inheriting inequality

READ: ‘The Edge Becomes the Center’: Stories of gentrification resonate

Author: Staff Writer

The Consumer Systems Application Support team maintains this wordpress blog to provide information and support for the CMG Media Websites and other digital publishing applications.

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