- Volume 18, Number 3
- Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
- Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga
Commentary: A Federal Perspective on Gentrification
Katherine M. O’Regan
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
During the past 4 months, as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) “Prosperity Playbook” initiative, Secretary Julián Castro has joined local leaders in a series of convenings around the country, in cities and regions trying to address housing affordability in a way that also supports inclusive and equitable growth.
The issue of “gentrification,” or community change, has been core to those conversations. What we are hearing on the ground is a widespread need for policies and tools to help areas manage the change, to harness the potential up side of renewed attraction to and investments in low-income and urban neighborhoods while minimizing the possible down sides, such as displacement, increased housing cost burdens, and the potential for long-term resegregation.
At times, these conversations have been fraught. They surfaced policy tensions and broader housing market issues that are an important backdrop for the symposium articles in this Cityscape issue and for policy discourse. To set that policy context, I begin by highlighting some key trends and issues noted in those conversations and by the symposium articles in this issue and connect them to the broader affordability crisis. I then draw three main policy points relevant for any policy discussion focused on gentrification. I end by describing the federal policy levers that, in combination, may be most useful for improving community outcomes in the face of affordability stressors and community change.
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