Unfortunately, for quite some time now, Americans have seen gentrification take its course in society. Poor residents of communities have been displaced, turning residencies that were affordable for the poor into an upscale environment. Even though city leaders want to create a “mixed income” community, they are unaware of the brutal consequences the working class have to face.
In this article, Chicago is changing its public housing, Chicago Housing Authority, CHA, wants to tear down the row houses, the only affordable housing for the poor residents, to create businesses and a “mixed income”. They see a brighter future for a mixed community composed of working and middle class income levels. Arguments from both sides came about, resulting in a few harsh conclusions from the working class. The CHA CEO Charles Woodyard felt very optimistic with the plan. Basically, some positive effects for accomplishing this plan is that crime rates will lower, the city revenue will increase, and it could make people self-sufficient. However, some negative effects, as portrayed by the poor, will turn out to be a worse situation from where they started. For example, the elderly wouldn’t be able to work, therefore cannot be self-sufficient. Also, as for every other age, this transformation would not change the situation that the poor has been in. They would be going to another bad area, in which crime rates could possibly rise, and they cannot be self-sufficient anyways because of being uneducated or trained for work unlike the privileged.
One quote stood out to me when reading this article from Elizabeth Rosenthal: “CHA failing to do that violates the Fair Housing Act, perpetuates segregation and discriminates against low-income and African-American families”. Pushing out the undesirables only creates another concentrated area of the poor, which leads to another economic instability factor that companies like CHA would have to “worry about”. Instead, actually fixing the situation the poor are displaced in can make a difference. Changing the actual situation may lead to the poor getting an education, having jobs, and becoming self-sufficient for better city revenue as CHA envisioned. Race, class, or status shouldn’t have to be key elements to defining an “undesirable” just because we have a greedy capitalistic nation.