One of my volunteers is a graduate of Duke University. She's a millennial native to Philadelphia and has secured herself a nice profession in technology. Where do young single people like to live? You guessed right! Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead where most of the entertainment resources are. Can you blame them?
They spend money on college loans to have high paying jobs, and they want to live somewhere convenient that doesn't require always hopping in a car (because millennials also are hip to protecting the environment). So what does that mean for Grandma and Granddad that have lived in the once poorest community all of their lives?
Considered legacy residents, most have stayed put for 50-60 years because their impoverished and blight community is what they could afford. But now they can't!
These seniors couldn't afford or qualify for a mortgage because the community was considered high-risk so they have rented all of their life. But now, the landlords are getting excited because millennials want to move in. Investors are buying up the blighted properties for quick turnarounds (without code enforcement) to sell to eager millennials or slightly older first-time parents.
Now... the dedicated senior tenants have been told their lease will not renew. Where do they go? The Atlanta Regional Commission has many resources for those in need here, but I write this post to see what you think.
If you are a millennial or first-time parent, how can you help those you unintentionally displaced? Imagine you are a "very proud" parent of a millennial that just graduated from college and bought their first home in town. And simultaneously, your parents are moving in with you because they can't afford their rent in town anymore.
How do you feel about gentrification? Tell me below! FYI, my volunteer is a compassionate young lady that cares deeply about resident displacement and is civically engaged to promote change.