Policy Minute: Exploring Gentrification

Research & Policy | May 26th 2016

City Street with text Policy Minute

Exploring Gentrification

This month, the NYU Furman Center released its State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods in 2015 report, which included a "Focus on Gentrification” (PDF) that explores gentrification within the context of New York City's neighborhoods. Of the city's 55 neighborhoods, the report classifies 15 as "gentrifying," or initially low-income neighborhoods that have seen above median rent appreciation, and analyzes how their housing and population have changed over the past two decades. It finds that they have seen greater growth in the shares of the population that are young adults, college-educated, white, and living alone or with roommates, as compared to other neighborhoods. Watch a video of the research presentation and panel >>

Research Symposium on Gentrification and Neighborhood Change

Over 20 researchers and practitioners from around the country and Canada gathered for a symposium on May 25, 2016 to share the latest research on patterns of gentrification, displacement, and neighborhood change. The event was co-hosted by the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Minneapolis, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the NYU Furman Center. Watch a video of the symposium >>



  • Rents are rising all over New York City and have far surpassed income growth of New York City renters. More >>
  • During 2000s, rents in neighborhoods concentrated around core Manhattan were among the fastest growing in New York CityMore >>
  • Seven out of the 11 largest metro areas became less affordable to the typical renter between 2006 and 2014. In all but two of these metro areas, the typical renter in 2014 could have afforded less than 40 percent of recently available units. More >>



New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) public housing apartments “provide over a quarter of rental housing affordable to New Yorkers with low and moderate incomes.”  The Effects of Neighborhood Change on New York City Housing Authority Residents, a report from the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity and Abt Associates, completed in collaboration with the NYU Furman Center, examined "how the socioeconomic makeup of neighborhoods surrounding NYCHA developments, and recent changes in that makeup, affect public housing residents’ quality of life.  Researchers found NYCHA residents in developments surrounded by higher income neighborhoods earned significantly more than other NYCHA residents but had mixed reactions to neighborhood services and amenities.” More >>


When lower-income residents move from gentrifying neighborhoods, they are more likely to move to lower-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods with lower values on quality-of-life indicators.  A white paper released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Gentrification and Residential Mobility in Philadelphia, finds that “residents in gentrifying neighborhoods have slightly higher mobility rates than those in non-gentrifying neighborhoods.”  That said, the “results reveal the nuances of mobility in gentrifying neighborhoods and demonstrate how the positive and negative consequences of gentrification are unevenly distributed.”  More >>

“In 1980, housing prices in the main US cities rose with distance to the city center. By 2010, that relationship had reversed.”  A working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research titled Bright Minds, Big Rent: Gentrification and the Rising Returns to Skill, the authors hypothesize that “full-time skilled workers favor proximity to the city center and their increased presence can account for the observed price changes, notably the rising price premium commanded by centrality.”  More >>


Responding to Gentrification and Displacement in Urban Communities is part of the Connecting Communities webinar series, “a Federal Reserve System initiative intended to provide a national audience with timely insights and information on emerging and important community and economic development topics.” In this archived webinar, participants heard about “emerging research that explores how gentrification is being defined, its causes, and its impacts on vulnerable residents.” More >>

The Dream Revisited: Neighborhood Gentrification is the fourth discussion in the NYU Furman Center's series of thoughtful debates on issues related to racial and economic segregation in neighborhoods and schools. The four essayists in this discussion – Rachel Godsil, Olatunde Johnson, Lance Freeman, and Brad Lander – “explore the relationship between gentrification, neighborhood integration, and public participation.”  More >>


READ: Priced Out of a Childhood Home (Ronda Kaysen, The New York Times, May 13,2016) More >>

READ: Marchers take to the 606 trail to protest gentrification (Leonor Vivanco, Chicago Tribune; May 17, 2016) More >>

READ: Denver seeks gentrification without displacing residents (Aldo Svaldi, Denver Post, May 19, 2016) More >>

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