District Gentrification

Although this article from Howard U's student newspaper is a tad old (April 13), it's interesting reading. The added emphasis is mine:

"There has been a gradual change in the dynamics of the residential district of Adams Morgan over the past 5 years. Higher income households are displacing the lower income residents of the Adams Morgan community and changing the culture of the neighborhood. [...]

"The rent has gone sky high and we can't afford it. I feel like they are kicking us out," said Shawna Middleton, an Adams Morgan resident for over 20 years, as she pointed toward a row of newly refurbished homes. [...]

A recent report by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight says that housing prices rose 13.6 percent in the District in 2003, ranking third behind Rhode Island and California for one-year gains. Over a five-year span, housing prices in the District have risen 90 percent, the highest increase in the nation and more than twice the national average.

... There has also been friction between the lower income residents and their new neighbors. Kareem Mohamed, a student at a local community college, feels like his new neighbors give him and his friends a bad time.

"It's like they're always thinking we're trying to rob them or that we all sell drugs. I mean some people do sell drugs around here but most of us don't. They don't get it." Mohamed said.

Above him reads a sign in a window of an old brick house "We are not criminals. We want to live just like you."

This situation is not unique to the Adams Morgan area. U street, an area known as a hot spot for African Americans in it's hey day, is now home to many upwardly mobile, young, professional whites. This has brought a visible level of tension between blacks and whites in the area, particularly in light of the recent string of robberies along the popular street. Coincidentally, for the last week police officers have been stationed along Euclid street performing "random safety belt inspections", subjecting local residents and Howard University students to sporadic car checks as they drive past Meridian Hill dormitory. "

> The Hilltop: "Gentrification in Adams Morgan"


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