The following was originally posted here by a classmate of mine:

Another place of gentrification is areas North of IIT on State and 18th and further south. I see condos being built up across the streets from public housing buildings, on my way to ROTC on the train. I have a feeling sooner or later, those public housing buildings will be demolished and built over with luxury condos. The residents of the public housing will be forced to live elsewhere.

This is what I wrote as a response to someone who is concerned about public housing in Chicago, but could also act as an extension of the blog post:

To better understand what is happening with public housing across the city and what will happen to the public housing on State St. near IIT, you should read about the CHA’s “Plan For Transformation.”

Obviously, the design and plan for the older, high-rise housing didn’t work out too well: the landscaped plazas, parks, and playgrounds eventually were not cared for. It’s partially a result of the residents not taking ownership of where they live – for a few reasons, one being that they have no monetary investment or stake in the housing itself. It’s not “theirs.”

This kind of housing only served to attract drugs and gangs. The CHA feels that this old method of public housing will be corrected with a somewhat experimental method for public housing that brings in people from other class and income levels in the hopes that, what critics say, “the values of the middle class will rub off on the poor.” But instead, it brings diversity to the neighborhood and diversity is always a good thing.

I’d also like to point out that new condos being built is not the only evidence of gentrification. It’s a major, concrete identification method, and it’s a part of gentrification that happens quickly, but before the developers chose that lot to build a condo, the area was recognized as a place that could support housing ownership by middle-class residents and therefore building a condo here is a good idea and financially feasible for them. The appearance of condos is just one step in the process of gentrification, and in Chicago, at least, happens later in the game but is also the step that finally announces to visitors and residents that, “Hey, this neighborhood is (has been) experiencing gentrification.

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