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July 25, 2006

Instant gentrification? DEIS says no, statistics say yes

Atlantic Yards Report

Would the Atlantic Yards project cause gentrification, also known as "indirect residential displacement"? The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) issued last week by the Empire State Development Corporation says no, in part because of ongoing gentrification, because new housing units could relieve market pressure, and because most of the at-risk households would be more than a half-mile away.

Those arguments, however debatable, can't be dismissed. The fourth reason, however, doesn't pass the laugh test. The DEIS suggests that the new residents would be similar economically to current residents in the area. But it fails to point out that the cost of the new housing would ensure that most new households would have to earn above-average incomes.
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There's no evidence that the household income would be similar. By ignoring the actual income figures and relying improperly on affordability as a proxy for income, the DEIS avoids confronting "indirect residential displacement."

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Posted by lumi at July 25, 2006 8:24 AM