I've been working with affordable housing, building and equity based businesses for almost 5 years. Whenever I get a chance to talk about this with people who arent in the industry they ask me the same question everytime, "What do we do to stop gentrification?". It's as easy as using the money allotted to affordable housing to actually build affordable housing. But that is not the real answer. You can't answer that question without fully understanding the problem (I cant say that I even fully understand, honestly. There really is no excuse for the way our society works) It's not a lack of money or a lack of need. The reality is greed. It's the fact that our society caters to the people with money and people (developers and anyone in the market) seek to obtain more money. It trumps equity and inclusivity and affordability Every. Single. Time. As you can see, city officials don't even care enough to enforce laws or create strong incentives. So the real answer? Throw away the whole society. Elect better people in power. Make developing a more equitable practice.
We also have to remember inequality is engrained into our societies morals, rules and codes. Though redlining was created in 1933 it still affects lower income people to this day. There is no quick fix.
This blog post was inspired by Atlanta Council Member, Andre Dickens', Facebook post. Click Here to check it out.
Illustration created by Doug Chayka
Kimberly Rashad is a social equity and empathy motivated designer. Her design style focuses greatly on intentionality. When she’s not working with individuals, businesses and nonprofits around the country she’s either hosting events for her local Alumni Chapter (SU ‘16) or cooking up something good in her apartment in Atlanta, GA. Connect with her on Instagram and LinkedIn.