Gentrification and Displacement: Impact
As his Santa Ana family faces eviction, a young man stoically says, “I can just live in the van.” Like his family, many consider housing as something only those with money can buy. Others think it should be a right, but legal protections against evictions vary city by city. With new waves of development, the displacement of residents in neighborhoods, such as Long Beach and Santa Ana, has become a civil rights issue in which people of color are disproportionately affected. Neighborhoods are making vigorous efforts to protect families from displacement, which generates a constant stress that threatens public health. In response, some small property owners feel vilified and, fearing the eventual inability to evict problem tenants, are selling to developers. Planners say the long-term solution is an increase in affordable housing and homeownership, but developers push for market-rate housing. Tensions rise as longtime community members are evicted, and cities invest in infrastructure that favors progress over people.