Friday, August 30, 2013

HOUSING COMPLEX | Is Congress Heights Gentrifying?

My take.

Are things getting better? Yes.
Are things getting better quickly? No.
Is there more lip service than direct action? Hell yes. 
Is there forced systematic financial displacement happening now? No.
Will there be forced systematic financial displacement in the future? Maybe. (go HERE to read more of my thoughts on this)
Does Ward 8 need more economic diversity and opportunity? Absolutely. 

Please weigh in on this article and the others I posted today. I would love to know your thoughts. 

P.S. You can post anonymously! Don't be scared! P.P.S. Please include if you live or work in Congress Heights or Ward 8.

Go HERE to read the full article by Aaron Wiener.


There's no official definition of gentrification. It means different things to different people. To some, it means rising incomes; Congress Heights has among the lowest incomes in the city, and the lowest of any Metro-accessible neighborhood. (Neighboring Anacostia is the runner-up, in part, no doubt, due to the poverty at "gentrifying" Barry Farm.) To some, it means the arrival of fancy cafes and pet grooming stores; as Neibauer notes, the neighborhood's "main intersection, at Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Malcolm X Avenue SE, struggles to maintain quality retail of any sort." To some, it means white faces; there are hardly any of these in Congress Heights. 
"Most of these communities east of the river sit on or near Metro," Neibauer writes of the allegedly gentrifying neighborhoods. "Historically, in Washington, that’s a key element to any neighborhood revitalization (see U Street, Columbia Heights and Petworth on the Green Line)." 
But Congress Heights' main intersection is more than half a mile from the Metro station. The strip of Alabama Avenue near the Metro is filled with two- and three-story low-income apartment buildings. Sure, there are plans for some development there, but U Street and Columbia Heights and Petworth all had ready-made retail corridors right by the Metro, just waiting for quality tenants. The part of Congress Heights by the Metro doesn't have that.

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