“It is an entitlement thing.”

Another response to Megan McArdle’s “Gentrifiers Lament” for The Atlantic, this time from local blog In Bloom. One of McArdle’s neighbors in Bloomingdale penned this:

Gentrification is also hurting middle-income African-Americans and minorities. By “middle-income,” I don’t mean middle-class, because I am far from that monetary threshold. By “middle-income,” I’m talking about myself, friends, and others who are like me: young, educated professionals who make above the poverty level, but not quite enough to afford to buy or to rent in a neighborhood that is ideal to what we are looking for. Whether it’s due to the market, neighborhood, or gentrification, landlords and owners are pricing the rent at such an unaffordable rate that the $30,000-$45,000 income we earn annually looks even more dismal…

my plea to you, gentrifiers *, is to make sure to make this a mixed-income, or rather a melting-pot neighborhood with various incomes and socioeconomic statuses. Yes, the median neighborhood income is probably now well above my $39,000 annual income, but I’m a responsible citizen who works, goes to school, and adds value to our neighborhood and community at large. Please understand that this isn’t so much of a race thing as it is an entitlement thing.

As for the asterisk…

* When I refer to gentrifiers, although in context it refers to white people, I’m referring to all of the people in the higher-income brackets who have been moving into historically-poor black neighborhoods pushing the home values and rents so high that people who have historically lived there can no longer afford to do so, and people who want to live there cannot afford to do so.


  • http://avirilenagalingam.blogspot.com/ nandalal rasiah

    i think megan’s point was that the apogee of diversity in a neighborhood (anywhere) is transitory, regardless of how aware gentrifiers are of their effects on rents and prices of products and services. Once it starts, it doesn’t stop moving and can’t really be expected to stop without massive coercion of all parties concerned. And the gentrifiers will be followed by even wealthier ones as the neighborhoods that the first wave couldn’t afford (and they do exist) push out another generation.

  • Kay Cole

    Anna, I believe your point is quite simple (not sure why people continue to dismiss it). The home-buying/apartment renting “playing field” in DC should be more balanced, to include nice properties in satisfactory neighborhoods that are reasonably priced. And our representatives, should work in conjunction with the mayor to ensure that this is happening and continues to happen. Gentrifiers should not dismiss their effect on rents and pricing. After all, isn’t that the point?