by Caitlin Dilamani
Unfortunately, cities are so divided that the benefits of community change have to be geared towards certain people while putting others at a disadvantage by exploiting and marginalizing them. Although a community organization in the low-income Roxbury and Dorchester neighborhoods of Boston took stock of its 30-year campaign to create affordable housing and revitalize the area according to James Meehan by building new homes and rehabilitating others, the opposite seems to be true for black Harlem, a perfectly comfortable and pleasant neighborhood for low-income residents that had to be converted to a place of obstruction by increasing housing for the wealthier white people and driving out the blacks due to increased rents. Since remediation policies aren’t always effective, the contributions of individuals should not be overlooked. While gentrification may be viewed as revitalization, or the increase in jobs, resources, and infrastructure improvements to benefit low-income residents, not everyone could still afford to stay in those neighborhoods anymore, and the separation of low-income families from their communities can result in higher transportation costs, the loss of jobs and income, and a decline in school performance for children. This phenomenon can also leave people emotionally scarred, as it affected the Southside Latino community in Brooklyn with the loss of empowerment they felt when families had to go separate ways because of gentrification. Instead of government intervention to keep minorities in their homes and schools, there are more destructive zoning policies with fake incentives that worsen gentrification, such as mayor Bill de Blasio’s pushing for private development with the optimism that tax revenues will allow for a few affordable apartments here and there. At least there are some organizations, such as the community land trust, that have gradually evolved to address the problems of various social interests at the micro level of society by holding land for public use which gives a little hope for efforts at improvement, but the consideration of these institutions to be growing and crystalizing under historical change could sometimes be a myth without the knowledge of how and by whom they were promoted.