Weathering the Storm, Article 1

Gentrification and Redlining Series
by Erin Runnels

The word gentrification has become a buzzword within the last few years and lots of attention has been brought to its negative impact. In addition to that, we also hear the word “redlining” in almost every other election cycle. As often as we hear and see the word in our online feeds, do we really understand what it means and the toll it’s taken on communities across the nation? 

If you take a drive in South Dallas, you’ll notice something different. Some neighborhoods have brand new modern housing and swanky apartments, then five minutes later the neighborhood makes a drastic change in looks. The houses and apartments look older. There’s trash on the street. Restaurants, shops, and grocery stores become hard to spot. There are empty lots in random places. As you continue driving five more minutes, the houses start to look nicer and bigger. The shops and restaurants are easy to find. There are more banks and grocery stores to choose from. After all of that happening within 15 minutes, you start to wonder if you got lost, but it turns out you didn’t. You’ve just witnessed gentrification up close.  

To those who don’t live in areas impacted by gentrification, such a sight can be jarring and confusing. In rural and suburban towns, pretty much everything has a somewhat unified look with some occasional out of place looking buildings here and there. In major cities across the U.S., including Dallas, gentrification is taking communities by storm and pushing out those who’ve lived in the same neighborhood their whole lives. Little by little, the area where native residents grew up starts to look and feel different as the lot that’s been empty for years is now a new modern luxury apartment; only reserved for those who can afford it. Not the residents who have been living in the same house with worsening conditions that should’ve been repaired a decade ago. 

Topics like this can be complex and hard to understand for those who are unfamiliar with it. But we’re here to help you learn more about the growing issue and its impact through the Greenlining Frazier series. Join us as we explore what gentrification and redlining is, what causes it, how it impacts people, and what’s being done to mitigate the problem.