The current reinvestment in Newark raises the specter of gentrification. As seen in my last post, stores in downtown newark are changing. Furthermore, new development, including affordable housing units, are unaffordable to a large section of the Newark population. As has been seen in cities like New York and San Francisco, this is not an easy problem to solve. There are many potential strategies and perhaps a combination of strategies will prevent Newarkers from being priced out of the city.
While many solutions focus on housing policy, an article by Ruben Duarte at Plantetizen proposes another strategy; increasing incomes. Duarte states, “Raising the minimum wage, increasing pay overall for most workers (pay in general for workers has not kept with inflation, let alone grown), ensuring equal pay for women, providing an adequate funding for assistance programs, and many other programs that directly address how much money individuals and families bring in will do far more to mitigate the negative effects of gentrification than any onerous development requirement or price control ever will.” Continue reading