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Gentrification in East Liberty

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Richard Giza

on 12 December 2013

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Transcript of Gentrification in East Liberty

Gentrification in East Liberty
by: Richard Giza

Gentrification General Process

Current, Middle class initiate
Begin fixing up neighborhood
Becomes "Hip" and "attractive"
Movement of young professionals
Raises property values, taxes increase, rent increases
Causes poor,usually non-whites, to move

Process of neighborhood change by which relatively affluent people move into an area populated by poorer residents (1)
rejuvenates neighborhood
hidden consequences
Who am I?
Name - Richard Giza
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Gentrification in East Liberty
Failure allowed African Americans to move in
Copying Suburbs failed (2)
East Liberty became "dead" (3)
Lot of cheap housing available (3)
Gov't made Public Housing (3)
In 1970, 19.3% black In 1980, 46.3% black (3)
Transformed into a poor, African American neighborhood
perceived as "Ghetto"
History of East Liberty

1940s and 1950s Golden Era
Third largest shopping area
The Place to be
Grew too much
Vacancies in late 1950s
Traffic, Congestion
Suburb Competition
History of East Liberty Cont.
Tried to imitate suburbs (2)
Wide roads, huge retail stores, mall (2)
demolished houses, local stores (2)
Made large apartment buildings (2)
Traffic congestion still remained (2)
Whites left to suburbs, surrounding affluent neighborhoods (Ex. Shadyside) (3)
In early, 1950s 575 businesses (3)
In 1979, less than 100 (3)
Current Gentrification
Segregation of Neighborhoods
Suburbs restricted non-whites (1)
Sheer Cost (1)
Discrimination when viewing
Non-whites told higher prices
They were only shown non-white towns
60%-90% homes shown to whites not shown to blacks
Received poor, general treatment by the real estate agent (1)
Discriminated against with Bank Loans and Lending (1)
rejected minorities 56% more often
What about Non-whites?
Stayed (3)
Some moved to other non-white neighborhoods (3)
Could not leave
1999, East Liberty Development Inc. (2)
attract various costumers(2)
revise the street grid (4)
make better housing (2)
create jobs (2)
Return to former self
Major Projects
Focus on retail (4)

Big Stores, Big Space
Destroying Public Housing High-Rises
Penn Circle
History! (3)
History of Public Housing
In 1970, three high rises completed (3)
Poorly built, expected to deteriorate 30 years later (3)
Approx. 500 units (3)
Avoided expensive rehabilitation of buildings (3)
Discriminatory Practice

Isolation to No job
Supposed to be stepping stone for poor (3)
created racial and economical uniformity (3)
Lack of diversity, No networking system (3)
Population decreased by 41% 10 years after projects built (3)
White Flight
Lower population, less business activity, less employment (3)
Crime Rate
Correlation between poverty and crime (6)
Correlation between public housing and crime (3)
In 1973, 1023 major crimes committed. 0.096 local crime rate. City was 0.043 (3)
In 1975, 1,594 major crimes. Rate 0.150. More than triple city average (3)
Psychological isolation (3)
Illegal Drug use rose (3)
Crack cocaine main drug (3)
"The Crack Stacks" (3)
Government increased penalties for illegal drugs (3)
Cocaine vs. Crack (1)
Discriminatory Criminal Justice System(1)
18.3% female headed (3)
By 1980, 23.9% single parent, usually unprepared and lack of resources (3)
2 of 3 high rises destroyed (3)
1 left as transition, recently destroyed for Target (3)
Given $1000 to cover cost to move (3)
Given priority on new housing (3)
Significant changes
Townhouse style (3)
mixed income units (7)
private ownership (3)
President of the Citizens Organization for East Liberty, Aletha Sims (3)
“I don’t know of any other neighborhood where the residents had this much input.”
Gentrification Results - Housing
Not Complete
In past decade, 1,400 high-rise public housing units replaced with 450 new mixed-income units. (4)
Lee Sims, president of Coalition of Organized Residents of East Liberty. (8)
Not everyone has moved back
Not enough affordable housing for all poor residents who were kicked out
Waiting period to move in (3)
From 2000 to 2008 Median House Value increased to $69,000, a 34% increase (9)
Gentrification Results - Stores
Large retail stores
Less qualified jobs, can they make enough?
Google, University Medical Research and Clinics
Need to have proper education
Structural racism prevented them from opportunities
Gentrification Results- Crime Rate
46% reduction from 1999-2008 (7)
Used to be avoid at all costs area
crime rate still above average (7)
Gentrification Results- Culture Change

Lower income
Run down buildings
Majority Black
White pop. increasing
Place to Be
The Plan
Focus on retail (4)
Large stores, need large space
Demolished Public Housing (3)
Not Classic Gentrification
Elaborate Plan
Retail Stores and Research Institutions
Home Depot in 2000 (4)
Whole Foods in 2002 (4)
Trader Joes (4)
Google Office Space (5)
University of Pittsburgh Research Center (5)
Target (3)
Various amounts of local businesses and restaurants (11)
Improvements on Housing Situation
Transitional Housing (3)
$1000 for compensation (3)
Mixed income homes (7)
Townhouse style (7)
Private ownership (3)
Same rate as before (8)
Controlled rent rate for 30 years (8)
Aletha Sims, President of the Citizens Organization for East Liberty (7)
“I don’t know of any other neighborhood where the residents had this much input.”
reduced crime
Quality housing for low income
improved public housing
increased employment opportunity
created more diverse community
Not all residents moved back
not enough housing for low income
No guarantee that all residents will be able to afford to live in the area
No plans for education system
continue, but carefully monitor and adjust when needed to make sure the victims of long time structural racism are being helped.
Final Words
Major Concerns
1. Not enough Housing units for lower income and original public housing residents
2. Education and job programs to aid residents in finding greater employment opportunities

contact original residents
grant them priority
give them an affordable rent
Develop more low income housing
implement educational programs for career paths
give discount rates to residents in certain housing complexes for private school or charter schools
lead to better employment opportunities
The End
Thanks for watching!

1. Desmond, M., & Emirbayer, M. (2010). Racial domination, racial progress the sociology of race in america. (pp. 202-249). New York: McGraw-Hill.
2. East Liberty Development Inc. (n.d.). History. Retrieved from http://www.eastliberty.org/about-east-liberty/history
3. Cavalier, J. (2010). The effects of public housing on pittsburgh's east liberty. Retrieved from http://www.theellisschool.org/podium/default.aspx?t=6648&tn=THE EFFECTS OF PUBLIC HOUSING ON PITTSBURGH'S EAST LIBERTY&lid=29101&ptid=138608&pttid=2&sdb=1
4. O'Toole, C. (2010, March 2). Slumbering pittsburgh neighborhood reawakens. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/realestate/03pittsburgh.html?_r=1&
5. Sheehan, A. (2013, Nov 21). Is east liberty re-development leaving some residents behind?. Retrieved from http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/11/21/is-east-liberty-re-development-leaving-some-residents-behind/
6. Zhao , H., Feng, Z., & Castillo-Ch ́avez, C. (n.d.). The dynamics of poverty and crime. Retrieved from http://mtbi.asu.edu/downloads/Document8.pdf
7. Fraser, J. (2011, Sept 25). East liberty finds formula for success. Retrieved from http://www.post-gazette.com/neighborhoods-city/2011/09/25/East-Liberty-finds-formula-for-success/stories/201109250243
8. Nelson Jones, D. (2013, Nov 3). New era in east liberty housing. Retrieved from http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2013/11/04/New-era-in-E-Liberty-housing/stories/
9. Langdon, P. (2011, Sept 28). How east liberty fought its vacant-property problem. Retrieved from http://bettercities.net/news-opinion/links/15375/how-east-liberty-fought-its-vacant-property-problem
10. Brown, A. (2012, Aug 22). Out of the shadows: East liberty club receives unusual complaints . Retrieved from http://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/out-of-the-shadows-east-liberty-club-receives-unusual-complaints/Content?oid=1556576
11. Interview with Nicolas Martinez, email

Record of Email Interview
in Word document submitted
to dropbox. Same with sources used.
Full transcript