A Look at Local Gentrification and Displacement

You may have heard that rail transit will cause gentrification in Watsonville and Santa Cruz. Let’s break it down and review the causes and solutions to gentrification and displacement.¬†

What is Gentrification?

Gentrification describes a process where urban communities, often low-income and working-class, experience the inward migration of new wealthy residents. With these new residents comes increased investment in infrastructure, neighborhood amenities, and property values. But rising costs of living can push out long-term residents and businesses from their neighborhoods. Due to redlining and the racial wealth gap, communities experiencing gentrification are often communities of color, adding a racial dimension to gentrification.

Let's Provide Affordable Solutions for Locals

How can we provide better services in our neighborhoods without causing displacement? We believe that communities should have influence over planning decisions that impact them.  We advocate for policies that can mitigate the adverse impacts of gentrification and displacement. Here are three ways we can increase public services in our neighborhoods (like improving and adding parks, community services, quality public transportation and walking and biking infrastructure) without displacing the existing residents.

  1. Require the preservation of current affordable housing.
  2. Adopt policies and ordinances that require additional affordable housing be developed.
  3. Adopt community policies to provide support for current homeowners and renters to stay in their homes, and right of return policies where areas are renovated or improved.

Rail, Trail and Housing policy

Friends of the Rail & Trail believes that all neighborhoods, regardless of ethnicity and income, deserve high quality public services. That includes access to quality, affordable public transportation that serves everyone and more biking and walking trails and street improvements. We can improve the services in our neighborhoods without causing displacement by taking appropriate actions to protect the current residents of the neighborhood.

Friends of the Rail & Trail is committed to advocating for all our community members and supporting policies that can mitigate displacement while also improving neighborhood services.

At Friends of the Rail & Trail, we believe strongly that we can and should improve our neighborhoods for the people that currently make them great.

If you care about the environment, social justice, or public transportation, volunteer now to help build a stronger Santa Cruz community.

Learn more about housing policy that prevents displacement

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