Spotlight: Vouchers Reduce Gentrification and Address Poverty?

Gentrification has become a controversial issue in cities across the nation such as San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Seattle. Concerns about gentrification and displacement are particularly poignant in Los Angeles, as it continues to grow and develop. A recent study by UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs researchers found that Los Angeles is now the most unaffordable rental market in the country based on their analysis of what portion of renters’ income regularly goes to pay rent. So, what are possible solutions to this dilemma?

An article, Is Ending Segregation the Key to Ending Poverty? Atlantic came out this week, arguing that a voucher system that allows low-income families to relocate to wealthy neighborhoods, may be the solution to reducing poverty. The author argues that:

“Despite the strategy’s success in Chicago, nationally there are few programs today that focus on helping African American families move from racially segregated, high-poverty neighborhoods to areas where their children will have access to good schools and less exposure to crime. Those that do exist are all results of lawsuits. One in Baltimore seeks to move 4,400 families to better areas by 2018. Another, in Dallas, exists as a result of a lawsuit filed in 1985. And on Thursday, a Chicago judge approved a Gautreaux-related settlement that—among other things—will allow a new host of families to be relocated, with the help of a counselor, to low-poverty, higher-opportunity neighborhoods.” – Atlantic

Could a voucher system be the solution to reduce gentrification and address poverty? What are your thoughts?


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