Monday, 3 October 2016

This Promises To Be A Rich Seam Of Crazy...

Starting today, this Guardian Cities series will examine the consequences of gentrification around the world, and interrogate what is being done to tackle it.
Well, I look forward to knowing what's being done to ensure that urban areas remain run-down, crime ridden hellholes.

Doesn't everyone?
My own view is that the best solution to mitigate the impact of the almost inevitable tide of urban gentrification is a tax on the value of land, which would capture the value of improvements for the local community, rather than lining the pockets of investors.
Well, Mark Wadsworth will be following this series eagerly too, then!

4 comments:

Jim said...

I think they've hit on the wrong idea if they think Land Value Tax will stop gentrification - it will drive it forward even quicker! Once land value start rising in an 'up and coming ' area, the land value tax will rise, hitting EVERYONE in that area, not just the incomers, it has to be paid by the people who bought their properties at lower prices (which perhaps they could afford). Effectively LVT means that no-one can live in a house that they can't afford to buy right now, because the LVT is based on the current value, not the purchase value. Thus rather than people leaving voluntarily as they decide to make a capital gain and sell to a yuppy, they will be forced out pretty sharpish as their LVT rises rapidly and they will have to sell up and move to a place more commensurate with their income. Thats what LVT does - it makes people live in houses they could afford to buy out of their income, regardless of whether they have the capital to buy one outright. So society would rapidly become ghettoised into areas of people of similar income - the rich and the poor segregated by their LVT requirements. That does happen now of course, but it would be 100% under LVT - there would be no way an income poor person could live in an expensive area, whereas now that can happen if people have capital - maybe an inherited house for example, or have bought a house years ago in an area that becomes gentrified.

Tim Newman said...

Allow me to quote myself:

And so I think that the term “gentrification” is something deployed by real estate agents to justify exorbitant sale and rental prices, something akin to a place being “charming” or “having character”. Property prices have soared in every corner of New York, as people flood in for work opportunities and higher salaries, and the theory is these higher-earners are moving into the run-down areas and pricing out the locals. Only I didn’t see much displacement of locals going on, probably because it didn’t look as though they had jobs or paid market rates for their properties: Harlem looked like a place which had seen a handful of wealthy people move in and everyone else staying right where they are. I think it’ll take a while for wholesale change to occur, if indeed it ever does.

I tested this observation a stage further by heading out to the Bushwick area of Brooklyn, an area which I had heard was also becoming “gentrified” and in which hipsters and wannabe “artists” were paying well over $1,500 per month in rent for a shitty studio apartment, or even just a room. I spent an hour wandering under a rusting elevated railway which looked like something you see in the old Soviet Union, rows of shops with two or three out of a dozen premises open for business with the rest boarded up and the shutters covered in graffiti, streets covered in detritus and discarded household items, people on crutches or with an arm missing slowly making their way up the sidewalk or simply loitering around, and for every house which was well-kept and painted and with a tidy front yard there were three which were the exact opposite. I spotted a trendy cafe here, and a hipster bar there, but these were crowded out by the same delis, laundromats, pawn shops, and liquor stores that I saw in Harlem. For an area which was supposedly gentrifying and attracting “young professionals and artists” with rental prices soaring, it was an absolute fucking shithole.

Andrew Scarborough said...

Is the Grauniad article referring to those newcomers in St. Albans? Those trendy young things commuting to London to write garbage for trendy Commie rags, and pricing out local people working locally. The damned hypocrites, may they rot in Hell.

JuliaM said...

"Effectively LVT means that no-one can live in a house that they can't afford to buy right now, because the LVT is based on the current value, not the purchase value. "

Well, it wouldn't be the first time the SJWs had got something hopelessly wrong...

"Only I didn’t see much displacement of locals going on, probably because it didn’t look as though they had jobs or paid market rates for their properties:..."

Maybe the benefit cap will prevent us looking too much like New York..?