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What do you think about gentrification?

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[OP]
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Sep 21, 2010
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What do you think about gentrification?

I could understand if some developer came in into a specific land plot and kicked out low-income housing residents/respective commercial enterprises and replaced them w more 'upscale' living, i.e. condos and more expensive stores pop up, but what if it's just a barren/mis/unused land, why is there still vehement opposition from some locals sometimes?
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Deal Fanatic
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Mar 12, 2005
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Victoria
That's not entirely gentrification, that last one sounds more like densification. People can be adverse to having their neighborhoods overcrowded. Add a condo and 600 residents to quiet neighborhood, it just gets that much busier.

It's the same here in Victoria. People like it here because it's a small city. It's not Vancouver. We have the problem where people keep moving here, but the lack of housing makes it expensive. On the other hand if you rapidly build, then you rapidly increase population, and the city loses what it was. Usually it's the people that moved here, that say building more housing, and the long term locals that say keep it small. Always a bit of a tug of war that slows down progress (which I like).
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Jul 9, 2012
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Pluto
Well, it has it's pros and cons.

I think the biggest con in the way gentrification is handled today is developers don't build anything for lower income. So they make the neighborhood all fancy and nice, but only for the rich and middle class meanwhile the poor have to move out and find somewhere else. Rinse and repeat.
[OP]
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Sep 21, 2010
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Why are ppl so inherently afraid of change? It's inevitable.

I dunno about the densificafion (didn't know that was a term) if it's just taking over a rundown land plot that's been in disuse all this time.
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Jan 12, 2017
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In general, it's inevitable - unless the preference is to let things become societal ghettos. In rare cases, where you have a wealthy resident base or great school districts (South Kingsway/Royal York, Bridle Path, Yonge/Lawrence) or good urban planning (rare).

The challenge is, communities and buildings deteriorate, but only if the owners and residents let it. Typically it's because of lack of funds, or simple lack of competency... essentially our vulnerable population. It stands to reason that they would be displaced should anyone actually decide to invest and rehabilitate these communities. I think the issue is - where do they go?

IMO, good planning practices should recognize areas actively being gentrified and require developers or any flips (say turnarounds within 5 years) to subsidize a gentrification fund (or pay a gentrification tax) that supports equity programs for the vulnerable. No one wants a city with ghettos, and no one will privately invest unless there is a reasonable business case. The city has to step in.

So I guess my answer is that I think gentrification is good, not at all the fault of the people who are driving it and the issues, in general, are a result of the City's failure to do their due diligence with respect to planning.
tranquility922 wrote: I could understand if some developer came in into a specific land plot and kicked out low-income housing residents/respective commercial enterprises and replaced them w more 'upscale' living, i.e. condos and more expensive stores pop up, but what if it's just a barren/mis/unused land, why is there still vehement opposition from some locals sometimes?
[OP]
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Sep 21, 2010
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Chickennbeans wrote: In general, it's inevitable - unless the preference is to let things become societal ghettos. In rare cases, where you have a wealthy resident base or great school districts (South Kingsway/Royal York, Bridle Path, Yonge/Lawrence) or good urban planning (rare).

The challenge is, communities and buildings deteriorate, but only if the owners and residents let it. Typically it's because of lack of funds, or simple lack of competency... essentially our vulnerable population. It stands to reason that they would be displaced should anyone actually decide to invest and rehabilitate these communities. I think the issue is - where do they go?

IMO, good planning practices should recognize areas actively being gentrified and require developers or any flips (say turnarounds within 5 years) to subsidize a gentrification fund (or pay a gentrification tax) that supports equity programs for the vulnerable. No one wants a city with ghettos, and no one will privately invest unless there is a reasonable business case. The city has to step in.

So I guess my answer is that I think gentrification is good, not at all the fault of the people who are driving it and the issues, in general, are a result of the City's failure to do their due diligence with respect to planning.
Agree w what you said generally. I think the bold part makes good sense (I have no idea about flips though), trying to make things work for everyone. Funny thing is, when I see condo projects that have a built-in portion for subsidized housing/stores and other social initiatives, some residents *still* oppose them, which is ridiculous...or maybe some ppl just love their neighborhood being stuck in a rut.
The richest 1% of this country owns half our country’s wealth, 5 trillion dollars, one-third of that comes from hard work, two-thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons, and what I do.. <find the rest>
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Jan 12, 2017
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Having lived in a few different areas within Toronto and seeing the different mixes, I'm not convinced that mixing subsidized housing into neighbourhoods can work without a system where abuse of the system can be stamped out quickly. Unfortunately, our system is tolerant of widespread non-compliance in general, so this is probably an impossibility.

This same problem is the barrier to equity efforts. When abuse is rampant and tolerated, why would there ever be widespread willingness to help or share without being forced to?

In the Scarborough thread, there's a great example of society noting and avoiding the clusters. One poster mentions community housing - this is no surprise. Elevated crime is highly correlated with social housing, even when directly surrounded by low crime, wealthy streets.
tranquility922 wrote: Agree w what you said generally. I think the bold part makes good sense (I have no idea about flips though), trying to make things work for everyone. Funny thing is, when I see condo projects that have a built-in portion for subsidized housing/stores and other social initiatives, some residents *still* oppose them, which is ridiculous...or maybe some ppl just love their neighborhood being stuck in a rut.
[OP]
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Chickennbeans wrote: Having lived in a few different areas within Toronto and seeing the different mixes, I'm not convinced that mixing subsidized housing into neighbourhoods can work without a system where abuse of the system can be stamped out quickly. Unfortunately, our system is tolerant of widespread non-compliance in general, so this is probably an impossibility.

This same problem is the barrier to equity efforts. When abuse is rampant and tolerated, why would there ever be widespread willingness to help or share without being forced to?

In the Scarborough thread, there's a great example of society noting and avoiding the clusters. One poster mentions community housing - this is no surprise. Elevated crime is highly correlated with social housing, even when directly surrounded by low crime, wealthy streets.
Sure, that's an interesting point and I don't pretend to know what are the effects of mixed classes. Who knows what's the best way, although I think leaving slums as they are isn't the way to go.
The richest 1% of this country owns half our country’s wealth, 5 trillion dollars, one-third of that comes from hard work, two-thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons, and what I do.. <find the rest>
Sr. Member
Jun 4, 2013
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Vancouver
From my own experience mixing low rental units into regular rates apartment might not work as well as the gov though. I used to live in a apartment where the first 10th floor was low/sub rental. I used to go through the lobby everyday once a while I would overheard some of the conversion between the low rental/sub and the Concierge. Some of the include people complaining that the rental place doesn't come with a parking spot and demanded they get one (I am sorry but I paid for my parking when I purchase my unit and you are paying for a low rental/sub from the gov, if you want a parking spot you can rent one from people who purchase it or park on the street)., complain their fob doesn't have access to p1 and p2(your unit doesn't even come with a parking spot but you need access to the underground for resident?). to doesn't know to use the fob to flooding their unit coz they setup off the sprinkle system......

It can work but people need to be realistic. IE you aren't going to get a parking spot when you are paying for low rental/sub by the gov, developers aren't going to use any fancy finishings in the unit, some people might not like having low rental/sub in their apartment that they paid full price(I don't really care usually say HI to everyone I meet in the Concierge area or elevator),
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Nov 6, 2010
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It's usually inevitable in most larger cities, but it definitely does end up affecting the poorer classes the most. People get displaced from their communities/jobs/schools or priced out if there's no government regulation on rents for example. The poorer class already usually have little (no equity/home ownership), but if you displace them farther with gentrification (say outside of the city center) it may end up affecting them even more negatively (more commute time for people with 2 jobs, or worse, they're not priced out of any area with public transit for example). It definitely does also end up causing ghettos and clustering the poorer areas together.
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Was't Cabbagetown an example of gentrification in Toronto? That neighbourhood is so nice now.
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[OP]
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Sep 21, 2010
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sponge5307 wrote: From my own experience mixing low rental units into regular rates apartment might not work as well as the gov though. I used to live in a apartment where the first 10th floor was low/sub rental. I used to go through the lobby everyday once a while I would overheard some of the conversion between the low rental/sub and the Concierge. Some of the include people complaining that the rental place doesn't come with a parking spot and demanded they get one (I am sorry but I paid for my parking when I purchase my unit and you are paying for a low rental/sub from the gov, if you want a parking spot you can rent one from people who purchase it or park on the street)., complain their fob doesn't have access to p1 and p2(your unit doesn't even come with a parking spot but you need access to the underground for resident?). to doesn't know to use the fob to flooding their unit coz they setup off the sprinkle system......

It can work but people need to be realistic. IE you aren't going to get a parking spot when you are paying for low rental/sub by the gov, developers aren't going to use any fancy finishings in the unit, some people might not like having low rental/sub in their apartment that they paid full price(I don't really care usually say HI to everyone I meet in the Concierge area or elevator),
Tx for telling about your personal experience. That sucks those ppl act in such a stereotypical fashion. I guess that's why developers propose separate buildings now instead of trying to combine the 2 'classes' in one.
The richest 1% of this country owns half our country’s wealth, 5 trillion dollars, one-third of that comes from hard work, two-thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons, and what I do.. <find the rest>
Penalty Box
Jul 13, 2012
7243 posts
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Ottawa
sponge5307 wrote: From my own experience mixing low rental units into regular rates apartment might not work as well as the gov though. I used to live in a apartment where the first 10th floor was low/sub rental. I used to go through the lobby everyday once a while I would overheard some of the conversion between the low rental/sub and the Concierge. Some of the include people complaining that the rental place doesn't come with a parking spot and demanded they get one (I am sorry but I paid for my parking when I purchase my unit and you are paying for a low rental/sub from the gov, if you want a parking spot you can rent one from people who purchase it or park on the street)., complain their fob doesn't have access to p1 and p2(your unit doesn't even come with a parking spot but you need access to the underground for resident?). to doesn't know to use the fob to flooding their unit coz they setup off the sprinkle system......

It can work but people need to be realistic. IE you aren't going to get a parking spot when you are paying for low rental/sub by the gov, developers aren't going to use any fancy finishings in the unit, some people might not like having low rental/sub in their apartment that they paid full price(I don't really care usually say HI to everyone I meet in the Concierge area or elevator),
From my experience, people who work full-time but who need a little extra help from the government tend to be very good tenants/neighbours. It's the ones who depend on the government, who could be working but don't, who are the bad tenants. They have an attitude of "the world owes me", and often have very little personal responsibility.

The problem with "gentrification" is that it's often a well-meaning effort to fix the problems faced by a community. However, the only reason that many of the people in the community can afford to live there is because those problems exist there in the first place. Once they're fixed, the property values rise beyond their financial means.
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Jun 4, 2013
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Vancouver
tranquility922 wrote: Tx for telling about your personal experience. That sucks those ppl act in such a stereotypical fashion. I guess that's why developers propose separate buildings now instead of trying to combine the 2 'classes' in one.
I mean they are already living there so why not make the best out of it. Doesn't hurt to say Hi. Of course if anyone wants to rent my parking spot they are welcome to do so.
[OP]
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sponge5307 wrote: I mean they are already living there so why not make the best out of it. Doesn't hurt to say Hi. Of course if anyone wants to rent my parking spot they are welcome to do so.
For sure, you have the right idea, just disappointing to hear of your experience w those social housing residents being unreasonable and acting entitled.
The richest 1% of this country owns half our country’s wealth, 5 trillion dollars, one-third of that comes from hard work, two-thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons, and what I do.. <find the rest>
Member
Jul 7, 2020
284 posts
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Ottawa
There's no such thing as gentrification, especially not in the form of some kind of top-down conspiracy to displace poor people. People are free to live where they want in Canada, they can buy and sell property, and over long periods of time it is inevitable that communities change due to a multitude of factors that cannot be merely attributed to urban planning and redevelopment decisions.

People who are opposed to so-called gentrification seem to be radical ideologues who would seemingly prefer that more people lived in poverty.

I recently moved to a very old neighbourhood where some of the houses that haven't been renovated are in dire condition. Wealthy people buy these properties and modernize them either to live in as a home or to convert to apartments. This is a good thing. What are we supposed to do instead? Let people turn the neighbourhood into a slum and live in houses that are not safe?

If lower income people bought houses in a poor community decades ago, their investment is now paying off for them when they sell their properties to the 'evil gentrifiers'.
Member
Jul 7, 2020
284 posts
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Ottawa
Chickennbeans wrote: In general, it's inevitable - unless the preference is to let things become societal ghettos. In rare cases, where you have a wealthy resident base or great school districts (South Kingsway/Royal York, Bridle Path, Yonge/Lawrence) or good urban planning (rare).

The challenge is, communities and buildings deteriorate, but only if the owners and residents let it. Typically it's because of lack of funds, or simple lack of competency... essentially our vulnerable population. It stands to reason that they would be displaced should anyone actually decide to invest and rehabilitate these communities. I think the issue is - where do they go?

IMO, good planning practices should recognize areas actively being gentrified and require developers or any flips (say turnarounds within 5 years) to subsidize a gentrification fund (or pay a gentrification tax) that supports equity programs for the vulnerable. No one wants a city with ghettos, and no one will privately invest unless there is a reasonable business case. The city has to step in.

So I guess my answer is that I think gentrification is good, not at all the fault of the people who are driving it and the issues, in general, are a result of the City's failure to do their due diligence with respect to planning.
Ever heard of something called property tax?

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