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Gentrification: The Houston Change


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A very good article in ArchDaily today about Gentrification in cities and presenting both extremes and vastly different contexts. It gives a fresh perspective that doesn't play the tiring good vs. evil card. It instead looks at how these people are coming into a city...as immigrants. I was intrigued by how we really only see people that are poor as being immigrants while those with any kind of money are seen as aliens. I think it's a refreshing take.

 

The obvious places in Houston are...well everywhere lol. Mostly notably Montrose, Midtown, Downtown, The Heights, and it's slowly creeping into the East End.

 

Here is the link:

 

http://www.archdaily.com/540712/what-gentrification-really-is-and-how-we-can-avoid-it/

 

What do y'all think about this? Looking for any opinions, but please try to keep it clean from mud slinging and good v. evil stuff. Gentrification is a much more complicated thing than some people try to make it out to be.

Edited by Luminare
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Gentrification, like immigration, can be boiled down to "people moving around". Like Montrose, some of the "die yuppie/techie scum" sentiment is from people who were once gentrifiers themselves. Montrose and Haight-Ashbury are big examples of such movements.

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My thought on this topic has always been simple logic:

  • if a neighborhood can stay the same, get better, or get worse
  • and getting better = gentrification = bad = we enact policies to stop it
  • so neighborhoods can only stay the same or get worse
  • then how does a city do anything other than decline over time?...
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My thought on this topic has always been simple logic:

  • if a neighborhood can stay the same, get better, or get worse
  • and getting better = gentrification = bad = we enact policies to stop it
  • so neighborhoods can only stay the same or get worse
  • then how does a city do anything other than decline over time?...

Trying to enact policies to stop gentrification is like trying to stop sprawl: you "solve" problems by creating bigger ones. Best course of action is to let things take their course.

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My thought on this topic has always been simple logic:

  • if a neighborhood can stay the same, get better, or get worse
  • and getting better = gentrification = bad = we enact policies to stop it
  • so neighborhoods can only stay the same or get worse
  • then how does a city do anything other than decline over time?...

 

 

As a practical matter, I don't think there are many cases where gentrification is stopped cold in it's tracks.  Most of the time the policies enacted to slow it down just cause costs to go up as developers and remodelers have to navigate another set of regulations beyond the typical building codes and that costs time and money.  Since the demand that drives gentrification is still there, you get slowed down release of inventory while demand remains or increases.

 

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I hate the term gentrification. 

 

Nothing in life is static. People shift, demographics shift, such has been occurring forever, it will continue to occur forever.

 

The class/race/whatever hatred that is bred by this kind of shift is deplorable. Hopefully at some point in the future society will have moved on from this kind of stuff.

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Is there any connection between gentrification and increased (or decreased) inequality?

 

Not necessarily.  I was a gentrifier at one time, and I suppose I am now a gentrify-ee since there is no way I'd willingly spend as much money as it would take to buy my house these days (even though it would likely have some sort of claim in the HAR listing that it's at lot value).

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  • 2 years later...
10 hours ago, Memorial/Gessner said:

Has anyone else noticed the steep rise in gentrification taking place in suburban areas for the last decade or so? What do you think is an effective and plausible solution to this epidemic of rising affluence and real estate prices?

 

Do you mean urban? I don't think the suburbs have experienced any significant increase in gentrification.

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On 11/1/2016 at 10:54 AM, Memorial/Gessner said:

Has anyone else noticed the steep rise in gentrification taking place in suburban areas for the last decade or so? What do you think is an effective and plausible solution to this epidemic of rising affluence and real estate prices?

 

Elect Sheila Jackson Lee as President?

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14 hours ago, HNathoo said:

 

Do you mean urban? I don't think the suburbs have experienced any significant increase in gentrification.

yes, I'm not referring to large planned housing projects like those seen in Katy or Missouri City. However, what have before been considered suburban neighborhoods are now home to lots with prices not lower and often much higher than $1,000,000.

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2 minutes ago, BeerNut said:

So you're against property values rising not gentrification.   The land there probably has minimum lot sizes and other deed restrictions so values will probably continue to rise.

 

Both, I suppose I should've worded my question better. I choose to focus on gentrification though, as it is a much more pressing issue.

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15 minutes ago, Memorial/Gessner said:

yes, I'm not referring to large planned housing projects like those seen in Katy or Missouri City. However, what have before been considered suburban neighborhoods are now home to lots with prices not lower and often much higher than $1,000,000.

 

Most of what were originally suburban neighborhoods, like the area around Memorial and Gessner, never went through a down phase like the older neighborhoods inside the loop so gentrification isn't really a problem.

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Just now, august948 said:

 

Most of what were originally suburban neighborhoods, like the area around Memorial and Gessner, never went through a down phase like the older neighborhoods inside the loop so gentrification isn't really a problem.

right, gentrification doesn't apply there. However, the rising prices are kicking out middle class families, only leaving room for the super-rich. Its a separate yet related issue

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On 11/1/2016 at 10:54 AM, Memorial/Gessner said:

Has anyone else noticed the steep rise in gentrification taking place in suburban areas for the last decade or so? What do you think is an effective and plausible solution to this epidemic of rising affluence and real estate prices?

I am not sure that I have ever heard "rising affluence" related to an "epidemic."

 

may I ask you if the folks who, in 1980, purchased the homes in the area you mention consider this an "epidemic"?  They don't like the wealth that they have created for themselves?  After all, an epidemic is bad for everyone, no?

 

 

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I feel like gentrification is usually bad problem in areas where most residents rent their homes, while in areas where they own them it is a good problem.  In renter areas, the residents are getting squeezed out with no real compensation to them, while in owner areas they may be getting squeezed out but they also sold their bungalow for $400,000 so they should be able to land on their feet

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On 11/2/2016 at 6:37 PM, UtterlyUrban said:

I am not sure that I have ever heard "rising affluence" related to an "epidemic."

 

may I ask you if the folks who, in 1980, purchased the homes in the area you mention consider this an "epidemic"?  They don't like the wealth that they have created for themselves?  After all, an epidemic is bad for everyone, no?

 

 

It depends on your vantage point. The people you speak of don't see a problem. The people Memorial are referring to......do.

 

Other cities should have this issue......where people seem to be getting richer. Or at the very least, their property values are going up.

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On 11/1/2016 at 8:54 AM, Memorial/Gessner said:

Has anyone else noticed the steep rise in gentrification taking place in suburban areas for the last decade or so? What do you think is an effective and plausible solution to this epidemic of rising affluence and real estate prices?

 

Tell people to quit getting richer?  Relocate criminals to the suburbs?

 

If rising real estate prices in one area are not the sole reason for lowered real estate prices in others, I'm not seeing a problem here.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ricardo said:

It depends on your vantage point. The people you speak of don't see a problem. The people Memorial are referring to......do.

 

Other cities should have this issue......where people seem to be getting richer. Or at the very least, their property values are going up.

Who are the people Memorial is referring to?  He is discussing "suburban gentrification".   Suburban areas are dominated by single family home owners (not renters).  I assume from the user ID that "Memorial" is speaking of the area generally referred to as "Memorial".   So, 40 years ago, somebody purchased a house for, what? $70k? and its worth $1.5m today.  Since the long-term average housing prices inflates at slightly above CPI,  I have a hard time understanding why anyone is upset.  Can't afford the taxes?  Sell the darn thing, PAY ZERO CAPITAL GAINS, and move to another place 4 miles away that isn't as hot but costs 50% less.  You'll have monetized $750k.

 

anything else is simply whining, IMO.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

Interesting piece from the Texas Observer on the potential for gentrification accelerating in Houston as a byproduct of the Trump tax cuts, which contain a $1.5 billion tax break for real estate investors in economically-disadvantaged areas defined as "opportunity zones": 

 

https://www.texasobserver.org/trumped-up-incentives-houston-gentrification/

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13 hours ago, mkultra25 said:

Interesting piece from the Texas Observer on the potential for gentrification accelerating in Houston as a byproduct of the Trump tax cuts, which contain a $1.5 billion tax break for real estate investors in economically-disadvantaged areas defined as "opportunity zones": 

 

https://www.texasobserver.org/trumped-up-incentives-houston-gentrification/

I'm leery of the term "economically-disadvantaged areas", which seems to imply that these areas are slums, and a form of urban blight that must be eliminated.
The areas where the "economically-disadvantaged" live include neighborhoods that were developed before WW II, a time when one (or no) car households were common. They were designed with the understanding that sidewalks and public transportation were necessities.
Contrast this with the areas into which the poor are now being scattered, which were designed specifically for the automobile. Too often these neighborhoods and the people who occupy them are cut off from access to grocery stores, parks, clinics, libraries, etc. because car ownership is out of reach. 
Of course, it comes down to economics. Many people are wary about investing in poorer areas. Development can (and should) involve an element of risk. The movement of people into inner city neighborhoods is a well-established trend that needs no outside encouragement. The resulting uprooting and relocation of thousands of families is certain to create more problems than it solves.

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8 hours ago, dbigtex56 said:

I'm leery of the term "economically-disadvantaged areas", which seems to imply that these areas are slums, and a form of urban blight that must be eliminated.

 

Indeed. And the more cynical among us might also be inclined to speculate as to exactly what the "opportunity" in "opportunity zones" refers to. 

Edited by mkultra25
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  • 2 weeks later...

An article below, from the Economist last year about gentrification myths.

I remember Montrose when you couldn't walk around at night for fear of being robbed, when burglaries and car thefts and gunfire were common. And folks thought nothing of parking vehicles on their front lawn.


The link seems to work. I don't have an online subscription.

https://www.economist.com/united-states/2018/06/21/in-praise-of-gentrification

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From "The Economist":
The most careful empirical analyses conducted by urban economists have failed to detect a rise in displacement within gentrifying neighbourhoods. 
We have to take the author's word for this remarkable statement, as he doesn't cite sources within the article. It certainly doesn't jibe with the realities I've empirically observed. 

Too many long-time residents of the Heights and Montrose have been displaced by higher rents and taxes for me to give his contention any credibility. 
 

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  • 1 month later...
  • Highrise Tower changed the title to Gentrification: The Houston Change

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