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Gentrification and Class - Essay Example

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Gentrification refers to the shift within an urban community where the poor experience displacement due to the wealthy investing in the regions (Arena 29)…
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Gentrification and Class
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Gentrification and Class

In these circumstances, two sides to the debate exist that include the non-gentrification residents and the gentrified residents. However, the upgrade tends to come with a price attached in which the resident that were pre-gentrified may not afford the new pay rates or property taxes. Driving out those cannot afford to pay the new rent rates and property taxes may be the most acceptable practice as the argument is that they could decrease revenues. In many cases, the transformation may include the conversion of old buildings to developed shops and areas of living, which translates to increased rents. However, John Arena negated this process in his book Driven from New Orleans in which African-Americans had to pave the way for the advancement of New Orleans after the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. After Katrina, the African Americans that were of local income levels did not receive financing to build and repair their homes, but instead demolitions took place (Arena 87). In his book, John Arena argues that the plan to demolish the old buildings in New Orleans began in the 1980s, long before the Hurricane hit the area meaning that the White Republicans conceived the gentrification plan before. Reasons why Arena says that the battle for public housing in New Orleans was a long struggle As the local community had named it, “the Negro removal” began in the 1960s in which the elite in New Orleans sought to upgrade the public houses at the cost of the low-income earners residing there (Arena 37). In essence, this neo-liberal economic activity is of the view that the low-income earners lived in impoverished states and it was their duty to help them. However, the residents of New Orleans viewed this to be a federal disaster as the hatching of this plan was national, but the implementation had to be at the federal level. Ideally, New Orleans became a city with the African American population being the highest in the late 1970s because of agricultural mechanization through those that were on their way route to Crescent City. From that time, New Orleans became significant in the fight against racial inequalities and protecting the rights of the poor hence making the demotions on the public houses to be a vital setback to the advancements that this population had managed to achieve. The white and the black elites saw the move to demolish the old buildings in New Orleans as the only way to eradicating poverty, but the African American population did not share the same views. The impact of Hurricane Katrina on the New Orleans city leaders’ desires to progress private development According to Arena, the African American elite and the leadership failed the residents of the New Orleans as they were not vocal enough to reverse the decision to demolish the old buildings that belonged to the people. The arena’s argument is that the non-governmental organizations, the elected officials from the African-American community, and other foundations had a hand in displacing the African American population of New Orleans. Many lost their homes because of the devastating Hurricane, but this did not deter the white Republicans from bringing down these structures in an attempt to establish modern day complexes. The arena’s view is that the demolition of the old buildings in New Orleans did not intend to benefit lower income earning African Americans from its onset, but it was rather immoral (Card & Raphael 112). The low income earners ... Read More
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