Fighting Gentrification: Black Homeowner Says To Protect Black LA, Don’t Sell Your Home

Fighting Gentrification: Black Homeowner Says To Protect Black LA, Don’t Sell Your Home


Fighting Gentrification: Homeowner Says To Protect Black LA, Don’t Sell Your Home Credit: monkeybusinessimages. istock https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/monkeybusinessimages?mediatype=photography

The adverse effects of gentrification are felt disproportionately by Black communities, where residents are often pushed out of their neighborhoods due to rising costs. 

Houses in the predominantly Black Los Angeles neighborhoods of Crenshaw, West Adams, Hyde Park, Leimert Park, Baldwin Village and View Park are now regularly selling for north of $1 million, wrote L.A. Times reporter Erika D. Smith. Bidding wars for the homes among white families are common.

Gentrification changes the character of neighborhoods when wealthier people move in, improve housing, attract new businesses and displace current inhabitants in the process. It feeds the massive wealth gap because gentrification often results in fewer Black homeowners. 

In 2019, 41 percent of Black families in California owned their homes, compared with 68 percent of white families. From 2010 to 2020, the share of Black Californians who owned homes was lower than it was in the 1960s, when it was legal to discriminate against Black would-be homebuyers.

Forget the stats. There’s a surefire way to fight gentrification, Black homeowner Pam Lumpkin said in an L.A. Times interview. Lumpkin recently moved her family from a white neighborhood in L.A. to the historically Black community of View Park. She tells those who will listen, “Don’t sell your house if you’re Black and you’re from this neighborhood. Don’t sell your damn house!”

Jackelyn Hwang, an assistant professor of sociology in Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences, did research on where people end up if they move when neighborhoods gentrify.

She found that poor residents moving from historically Black gentrifying neighborhoods tend to move to poorer non-gentrifying neighborhoods within the city, while residents moving from other gentrifying neighborhoods tend to move to wealthier neighborhoods in the city and in the suburbs.

Hwang and co-author Lei Ding of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia used the city of Philadelphia for the study, “Unequal Displacement: Gentrification, Racial Stratification, and Residential Destinations in Philadelphia.” The research was published in the American Journal of Sociology.

The study revealed that financially disadvantaged residents who moved from neighborhoods that were not predominantly Black benefitted from gentrification by moving to more advantaged locations. However, those moving from once predominantly Black areas did not, Stanford University News reported.

“As neighborhoods gentrify, when poor people can no longer remain in their neighborhoods and move, there are fewer affordable neighborhoods,” Hwang said. “Our findings suggest that, for the Black community, there are additional constraints when they move, leading them to move to a shrinking set of affordable yet disadvantaged neighborhoods within the city.”

Gentrification is happening all across the country. 

Longtime Black homeowners, many of them elderly, are tempted by the higher-than-normal offers for their homes but what’s happening in South Los Angeles is more than a seller’s market, Smith wrote.

“Ask many residents and they’ll call what’s happening a crisis of unchecked gentrification and displacement. They’ll curse opportunistic developers in one breath and, in the next, denounce a new state law that allows apartments and condos to be built on land that was previously designated for only one house,” Smith wrote for the Los Angeles Times.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 74: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin returns for a new season of the GHOGH podcast to discuss Bitcoin, bubbles, and Biden. He talks about the risk factors for Bitcoin as an investment asset including origin risk, speculative market structure, regulatory, and environment. Are broader financial markets in a massive speculative bubble?

Credit: monkeybusinessimages / iStock