Charlotte Neighborhood Faces Uncertain Future
Sherrell Dorsey reports on the changes coming to the neighborhood of Charlotte as an example of larger trends and policy consequences at work in the city:
With its proximity to Uptown (the colloquial reference to the city’s downtown area) and good access to public transportation, post-2008 recession Cherry has been an easy target for developers, who are profiting from an abundance of vacant lots and low-cost homes.
According to Sherrell, the market trends replacing "1920s bungalows priced at $200,000" with "$600,000 California-style single-family homes" have been reflected in the city's demographics as well:
UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute reported demographics last year that put Cherry’s population at 57.3 percent white and 37.4 percent black. Based on 1990 census data, the black population in Cherry about 25 years ago was 66 percent black. By 2000, that number had dropped to 55 percent.
The article focuses on the example of Cherry as an example of current residents having little recourse to stem the tide of gentrification. The city lacks any mechanisms for preserving or creating affordable housing units, such as inclusionary zoning, and the city is in the very early stages of creating an affordable housing plan.