“Although the prospect of gentrification has lately inspired a lot of concern (and some fear) in Newark, gentrification—at least in its typical forms—does not seem to be driving displacement in the city yet,” reads a report released in November 2017 by David D. Troutt of the Rutgers Center on Law, Inequality & Metropolitan Equity.

Below is an excerpt from the report titled “Displacement Risk and Gentrification.” It concludes with 5 overarching goals that should be pursued “by cities like Newark as they confront the challenges of growing equitably.”

 

A City’s Responsibility for Equitable Growth*

Goal #1: Preserve as much of the inventory of regulated, income-restricted housing as possible.

Goal #2: Take a holistic, fair housing approach to housing stability.

Goal #3: Reinvent good government.

Goal #4: Seek market restitution and regional equity for destructive and discriminatory practices.

Goal #5: Gentrify from within. To “gentrify from within,” a poetic phrase attributed to Mayor Baraka, is a fitting goal on which to conclude this report because it elegantly symbolizes what equitable growth means. Gentrification scares populations at risk for displacement because it suggests that desired growth (the revitalization of areas long in need of infusions of capital and resources) will occur without them.

But what if the very people whose new skills, education, financial capacity and political voice are typically wooed from elsewhere were, instead, grown on Newark’s fertile earth?

What if—with stronger schools and the commitment of local colleges and universities, skills training facilities, and more stable housing arrangements and opportunities for democratic expression—Newarkers become as much of the change they’ve been waiting for as anyone else?

These questions are being actively addressed by community-based organizations, advocacy groups, neighborhood alliances, and a broad consortium of institutions called Newark 2020.

*Source: Rutgers Center on Law, Inequality & Metropolitan Equity: “Displacement Risk and Gentrification: The CLiME Displacement Risk Indicators Matrix (DRIM) Methodology,” November 2017

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