Evanston Round Table, August 27, 2023, Many Households In Evanston’s Historic Black District Are At Risk Of Being Displaced By Gentrification
The challenge facing many communities across the country is how to invest in an area in an equitable manner without displacing current residents. Evanston is facing that issue now, particularly in light of the planned investments in the historic Black area of Evanston, whose boundaries are very close to those of US census tract 8092.
That area has changed from 95% Black in 1990 to 52% Black in 2020, according to US census data. For many years, people have expressed concerns that the area has been gentrifying, and that many Black households have been displaced – forced out – due to higher rents and higher property values and property taxes.
The full impact of gentrification may not be immediate, but it may take place over time. NCRC says, “[A] number of lower-income residents of gentrifying neighborhoods will strive to remain in gentrifying neighborhoods so that their families can benefit from improving neighborhood amenities, schools, and job prospects. However, a potential problem for lower-income tenants and homeowners is increases in housing cost burden. When housing costs exceed 30 percent of monthly income, the household is considered to have a cost burden. When housing costs exceed 50 percent of monthly income, the household is considered to be confronting a severe housing cost burden, making it difficult to afford other basic necessities.”
The rising costs may not only impact current residents, but they may also deter lower-income and perhaps moderate-income households from moving into a gentrifying area in the future.