Gentrification in Newark

At our General Meeting on the 8th of April, Denison economic students Isaac Bertman, Zakia Sultana, Ashely Mei and Ha Tran gave a presentation about gentrification. They have graciously provided their materials to better our understanding of this process. You can download the PowerPoint by clicking here, or read on for a transcript of each slide.

We offer our sincerest thanks to Isaac, Zakia, Ashley, and Ha for offering their Saturday afternoon to deliver us this presentation.

Slide 1Gentrification

  • Definition: the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-income taste.
  • Developers and city officials use gentrification to attract middle-income people to their areas.
  • Negative association with the word.
  • Usually known to be the displacement of poor communities by rich outsiders.
  • Positive and Negative effects.


Slide 2: Examples


2nd Ave Deli (NYC): A local fixture that opened in 1954 in the East Village, moved in 2006. Now there’s a Chase bank there.

Slide 3: Possible Benefits

Gentrification displaces low income residents, and in the worst case scenario causes homelessness.

BUT, there are some benefits for the low-income residents that are able to stay in gentrifying neighborhoods:

  • New job opportunities emerge as more stores open and construction picks up.
  • Longtime homeowners benefit from rising property values. 
  • There's often a decline in crime. 
  • On average, credit scores of the poor residents improve in gentrifying neighborhoods.


Slide 4: Negative Effects

  • Loss of affordable housing.
  • Community resentment and conflict.
  • Displacement through rent/price increases.
  • Increased cost and charges to local service.
  • Under occupancy and population loss to gentrified areas.


Slide 5: Anti-gentrification Movements

  • Right to the City (RTTC) movement
  • Homes For All (HFA) campaign 
  • Queens Anti-Gentrification Project
  • Brooklyn Anti-gentrification Network


Slide 6: Deindustrialization in Downtown Newark

30 years ago, downtown Newark had a bustling downtown area. Stable industrial jobs meant money to attract businesses. Slowly, those jobs went away.

Slide 7: Loss of Wealth in Newark

The loss of jobs meant less money. Many businesses and people left. Gentrification is meant to bring back wealthy people and business.

Slide 8: How Gentrification Works


Rent Before: $350/month

Rent After: $800/month

Slide 9: Combating Gentrification

A lot of people want gentrification to happen.

Linkage Fees: city & developers paying for low-income housing.

Ask developers for new job opportunities for low-income residents

Awareness is most important!

Slide 10: Government-guaranteed Work Programs

Root causes?

Increase in productivity from education and technology will always displace a portion of the workforce, causing unemployment and then poverty. Guaranteed-work programs can help displaced workers to transit and integrate back into the workforce. Gentrification brings new job opportunities.

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