Strategy-of-the-Month: Mitigating the Effects of Gentrification
Posted Date: June 13, 2008


Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse
Strategy-of-the-Month Club
June 2008
Revitalization can transform declining older
neighborhoods into highly sought after real estate,
attracting higher-income households. Although the
results can revamp neighborhoods, the influx of
higher-income households can also lead to increased
rents and property taxes, a loss of affordable housing
units, and displacement of low-income residents. This
process of neighborhood transformation is known as
gentrification. To help guide local governments in
their efforts to revitalize neglected neighborhoods
while maintaining the affordable housing supply, the
Urban Institute released the report, In the Face of
Gentrification: Case Studies of Local Efforts to
Mitigate Displacement.
The report includes case studies of six diverse
neighborhoods and identifies successful strategies for
maintaining housing affordability. Neighborhoods
undergoing gentrification can utilize these strategies
to retain existing and produce new affordable units.
As property values rise, so do rents and property
taxes, forcing low-income households and senior
citizens on fixed incomes to relocate. Housing
retention strategies help prevent displacement of low-
income residents by keeping existing housing units
affordable. Local governments can adopt tax relief and
rent control strategies to ease the burden for some of
the residents of gentrifying neighborhoods. Code
enforcement and housing rehabilitation programs can
also help retain existing affordable housing units.
In addition to retaining existing affordable units,
the case studies show that building new affordable
units in neighborhoods with strong housing markets and
high land prices can help mitigate resident
displacement. Communities can encourage development of
affordable housing by adopting inclusionary zoning
policies and flexible land use regulations that
promote residential infill and mixed-use development.
By deploying these and other strategies discussed in
the report, local governments can encourage
neighborhood reinvestment and mitigate the negative
effects of gentrification on low- and moderate-income
To view the report in its entirety, please visit
We hope this information proves useful in your efforts
to grow your region's affordable housing stock. If you
have regulatory reform strategies or resources that
you'd like to share, send us an email
at, call us at 1-800-245-2691
(option 4), or visit our website at
Feel free to forward this message to anyone who is
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