The Great So-What of Gentrification:
Preserving Housing and Culture
in Washington, DC
Presentation by Kathryn Howell GMU Center for Regional Analysis
Wednesday, April 9
|Preinkert Field House – Conference Room 1112V
University of Maryland College Park
|The first decade of the 21st Century was a perfect storm effect on formerly disinvested neighborhoods across the country. Upwardly mobile movers to the city during the late 1990s have stayed and begun to raise their children – even as young college graduates arrive in record numbers. All of this happened in the context of a booming housing market. In Washington, DC this trend is magnified, with the city gaining 13,000 new residents annually since 2010. As a result, changes in the social, as well as built environments of DC neighborhoods have meant that long term residents struggle to retain a physical and social presence in their communities. In the changing northwest neighborhood of Columbia Heights, the District, nonprofit advocates and community residents have taken steps to mitigate for the effects of neighborhood change on long term residents. This presentation will discuss the ways in which policy, organizing, and collective action have shifted the traditional model of neighborhood change.
KATHRYN HOWELL is a research associate at the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis. She earned her PhD from the University of Texas in Community and Regional Planning. Her dissertation focused on what the changes in the changing northwest DC neighborhood of Columbia Heights have meant for the long term, primarily low income residents who remained. Her work focuses on affordable housing, neighborhood change, and conflicts in physical and social spaces within communities. She previously worked on housing and community development policy in government agencies in Washington, DC and Maryland. She also worked in the non-profit sector on rural housing in Central Appalachia and on migrant healthcare as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Colorado.