Is There A Nationwide Gentrification 'Conspiracy'?

In New York City, big landlords are driving out thousands of low income residents. Juan Gonzales believes this may be a national trend and local governments are actively assisting in gentrification.
June 5, 2006, 10am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan
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" that we've reached a peak oil crisis, there is a concerted move to move the middle class and the upper classes, that moved out to the suburbs back in the ‘60s and the ‘50s and the ‘70s, back into the cities, that there are many people who are living in the exurbs who don't want to have to drive one-and-a-half hours to work every day in the city and now to spend so much more money on gas. ....So what’s happening is real estate speculators are realizing that the market is ripe to re-grab the inner cities and to, in essence, create urban America as more in the European models, where the middle and the upper classes live in the central cities and the poor live in the suburbs... there is a concerted effort to recapture the cities and to displace and to move out the residents that are there. And why so many of the black and Latino political officials are now getting up in arms over this is because they also realize it has political significance, in terms of their political bases are now being dramatically changed as more and more upper-income people and upper middle class people are now replacing their original constituents.

So I think that -- and the problem is that government policy, rather than try to assure affordable housing and a good mix of poor, working class and upper class within urban America, the policies that local governments are pursuing now are really to assist these landlords and developers in pushing people out and driving up prices. So I think that it's -- I do not believe that what's happening in New York City is an isolated situation. I actually believe it’s happening, and I’ve been receiving emails from people in other parts of the country, in Chicago and other places, in the Southside of Chicago and others, that the same thing is happening."

[Transcript, streaming audio and video are available.]

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