Garfield Senior High School

The hidden effects of gentrification

After extensive research, I have concluded that gentrification has led to an increase in homelessness. In fact, gentrification is the progression of innovating the lower or working class family houses that are easily profitable so a specific social class such as the middle or wealthy class can be satisfied with new improvements and potentially move in. The vast increase on rent, store payments, or housing property continually affects various communities worldwide. Many people can’t afford to pay high prices for a roof over their head, so it is difficult to approach the gentrification social issue when taking into consideration the consequences. In severe cases, countless individuals, families, or minorities are becoming less fortunate due to financial struggles caused by this.

The Latino homeless population has surged, up to 63% in the past year according to a study released by the Homeless Services Authority. It’s astounding that many public officials try to remove people from the streets when, in reality, they are the ones who are enabling gentrification. County Supervisor Hilda Solis states,“I would say homelessness is a whole new phenomenon.”  Solis is aware of the urgency of this issue, especially after seeing her district’s homeless population increase by 84 percent. As a result, these statistics and perception of Solis indicate the devastating outcomes of homelessness sparked by gentrification.

For the most part people who lack legal citizenship status are the ones who are particularly at risk. According to a study released by Homeless Services Authority, “…renters living in Los Angeles are the most cost-burden nationwide”. In other words, rent costs have dramatically increased, whereas Los Angeles residents with full-time jobs can’t afford to pay the surging rent costs. The study also shows that houses in Los Angeles and Orange County have housing costs that exceed 30 percent of their income. It is tragic to know that many people must work approximately three low-paying jobs just to make ends meet. It is devastating to recognize that there are people with families who are just trying to survive financial payments.

Moreover, this issue has caused a great amount of emotional distress in individuals, because people with losing their homes they are also losing their shelter. For example, Timotio Arevalos from Pico Rivera explains that he feels “…frustrated and sad….and having to go up and down and starting over takes a lot out of you.” He recently lost his government job and then he lived off his $70,000 savings which eventually dried up. Arevalos tried to find a good paying job, but he settled for a dish washing gig which caused him to lose his house since housing prices have spiked throughout different communities. This man has seen and felt the overall emotions of this social issue that has impacted his community and has consequently fled, but even then he can’t escape the far-reaching effects of gentrification.

Given the damaging effects it inflicts upon those who can’t afford to keep up with rising costs, gentrification shouldn’t happen in areas that don’t necessarily need it. However, there are places that would gladly accept gentrification and this would bring many benefits to those communities around Los Angeles. Overall, some might agree that gentrification might bring in economic income to their communities, but many might also agree that gentrifying communities has a huge impact in the lives of those that aren’t able to afford the rising rents. Therefore, we should all bring awareness towards this issue by informing others of the consequences of gentrification and the impact it has in this world.