Beyond Gentrification: Hundreds Of DC Residents Being Forced From Their Homes

It’s no secret that the nation’s capital is also the country’s capital of gentrification. But when MintPress investigated, we found that the city’s poor residents aren’t just getting squeezed out by skyrocketing rents -- they’re victims of forced evictions.
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    Phyllissa Bilal, resident and co-founder of the Barry Farm Study Circle, has lived in the neighborhood for about 3 years.Phyllissa Bilal, resident and co-founder of the Barry Farm Study Circle, has lived in the neighborhood for about 3 years.

    WASHINGTON — Hundreds of predominantly black families in Washington, D.C., are preparing to be forced from their homes to make way for massive redevelopment projects in the nation’s capital city.

    Scattered throughout Washington are four neighborhoods – Barry Farm, Lincoln Heights/Richardson Dwellings, Northwest One, and Park Morton – that have been targeted by the District government for their concentration of poverty, high crime and economic segregation. The neighborhoods and the homes in them will be razed and new “mixed-income” units as well as commercial spaces will be built in their stead.

    The city government claims that the neighborhoods have been targeted for redevelopment because of the deteriorating nature of the communities coupled with federal budget cuts to housing programs.



    However, Kalfani Turé, a veteran community activist, scholar and former police officer, claims that it is not a coincidence that these neighborhoods have become poor, destitute and criminogenic.

    He claims that these “hot spots,” which is how law enforcement refers to areas that generate the most 911 calls or have other criminal activity, are consciously targeted to decay by developers, institutions and city government at least a decade before they come under the eminent domain of the government and are redeveloped. Turé says urban ghettos are not naturally occurring demographic phenomena; they are created through urban planning.

     

    Barry Farm: Ground zero in the fight for affordable housing

    A row of townhomes in Barry Farm housing project, Washington DC.

    A row of townhomes in Barry Farm housing project, Washington DC.

    Barry Farm, located in Southeast Washington, is the epicenter of a fight taking place between low-income District residents and the City Council.

    The Barry Farm Redevelopment Plan — zoning for which was approved by the city government in October — proposes to demolish 444 homes in the neighborhood and rebuild the community with 1,400 mixed-income homes. The plan calls for “one for one replacement of subsidized housing units,” along with affordable housing and market-rate homes both for sale and rental. There will also be new retail spaces, public services, open space, parks and roads.

    The two developers selected by the city government to implement these projects are the Preservation of Affordable Housing, a non-profit organization, and A&R Development, a real estate company based in Baltimore, Maryland. Both companies have other properties based in the District.

    MintPress News visited the neighborhood and saw some of the fruits of this initiative, including the Barry Farm Recreational Center, which features a gym, game room, computer lab and other facilities.

    The new amenities are being built as part of a program called the New Communities Initiative (NCI), which was established in 2005 by former D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, who served from 1999 to 2007.

    The NCI website of the D.C. government claims, “The goal of the Barry Farm redevelopment plan is to improve the residents’ quality of life by addressing both the physical architecture and human capital of the community.”

    A 2005 report authored by Mayor Williams, “Homes for an Inclusive City: A Comprehensive Housing Strategy for Washington, D.C.,” states that the NCI was implemented to “reclaim neighborhoods troubled by concentrations of violent crime and poverty.”

     

    Reasons for concern

    Yet neighborhood residents, activists and scholars have called into question whether public housing really will be replaced one for one.

    Typically — and particularly in Washington — the rate of return for public housing recipients has been low, as can be seen in other housing projects that were destroyed to make way for mixed-income housing, such as Capper/Carrollsburg, Temple Courts and Lincoln Heights.

    Turé, who has done empirical studies on the situation, told MintPress, “The rate [of return] in D.C. is something in the area of 8 percent.”

    He referenced as an example Valley Green, a housing project located in Southeast, which had 300 households. The residents were forced to move to make way for a redevelopment project. Turé said, “24 households were allowed to return.”

    The model the city is using to displace residents comes from HOPE VI, a federally-funded program implemented in 1992 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program was created to deal with “severely distressed” housing units, similar to those in Barry Farm.

    The program “sought to reduce the concentration of poverty in urban neighborhoods by raising the quality and standards for public housing stock, providing supportive services and employment opportunities to residents, and developing mixed-income communities.”

    But a study by the Urban Institute in 2004 revealed that only about 19 percent of families were able to return to the neighborhoods where they had previously lived, despite promises otherwise.

    Meanwhile, another 29 percent had moved to other public housing, 33 percent had moved to rental housing using vouchers provided by the government, and 18 percent had “left assisted housing altogether.” The study explains that some former residents experienced “considerable instability” and even became homeless.

    As a caveat to the seeming destitution faced by residents who are forcibly removed, the Urban Institute report noted that advocates for HOPE VI argued that residents go in and out of public housing frequently, so a low percentage of returning residents is not a problem.

     

    War against the poor: Deconcentrating poverty

    One of the main assertions of HOPE VI and other public housing redevelopment plans around the country, including the District’s current New Communities Initiative program, is that the concentration of poor, unemployed people in one area contributes to numerous intractable social problems.

    Basically, it argues that poverty begets poverty.

    The solution for residents and the city, so the theory goes, is to “deconcentrate” poverty by helping people move to better communities and replacing the old neighborhoods with mixed-income developments. The idea is that impoverished people need to be spread around, rather than concentrated.

    However, Herbert J. Gans, author of “The War Against the Poor,” argues that the “concentration [of poverty] merely makes poverty more visible than spread-out poverty, calls attention to concentration, and thereby diverts attention from policies that would reduce or end poverty.” His ideas are laid out in a 2010 policy paper he wrote entitled “Concentrated Poverty: A Critical Analysis.”

    Gans argues that this idea reemerged in academic literature in the 1990s in order to justify the HOPE VI program, the aim of which was to tear down public housing projects and transfer public property into the hands of private developers.

    There is no empirical evidence to support the concentrated poverty idea, he contends, and neighborhoods, in and of themselves, should not generate negative effects on a community. “Neighborhoods, whether demarcated officially or unofficially by their inhabitants, do not control or allocate resources and do not make policy and political decisions,” he wrote, explaining that the resources and policies of a neighborhood originate elsewhere.

    Further, he asserts, a better indicator of why the poor are experiencing intractable problems, including social and economic woes, is “the decades-long withdrawal of public funds, not only for the maintenance of the buildings but also for the upkeep of those residents unable to work or to find work.”

     

    Urban ghettos are created

    Critics of HOPE VI point out that the precursor to the program, the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing (NCSDPH), did not recommend a mixed-income and deconcentrating poverty approach to solving poverty in public housing. It simply suggested that old dilapidated public housing should be replaced on a one-for-one basis.

    Meanwhile, others claim that public housing authorities, city government, and developers around the country and in Washington have exploited the idea of deconcentrating poverty to first create neighborhoods in decay and then sell them off to the highest bidder.

    This happens through a historical process by which the poor are relegated to certain neighborhoods, and those neighborhoods are then divested from in terms of public services, like sanitation and quality school administration.

    In other words, the preconditions needed to identify a space as “severely distressed,” in terms of high crime, a concentration of poverty and economic segregation, are consciously manufactured by city officials in collusion with real estate developers years in advance.

    In the case of Barry Farm, which just passed a zoning approval to be demolished, plans for its destruction were put into writing by D.C. Mayor Williams 10 years ago. Thus, for at least a decade, there’s been economic incentive for politicians and developers to divest from any programs in Barry Farm that might economically or socially revitalize residents of the housing project.

     

    What do Barry Farm residents want?

    4) Ray (left), 57, and Alex (right), 61, both grew up in Barry Farm, Washington DC. Ray (left), 57, and Alex (right), 61, both grew up in Barry Farm, Washington DC. 

    Phyllissa Bilal is a resident in the neighborhood and co-founder of the Barry Farm Study Circle, a community organization that organizes public housing residents to protect their human rights and challenge systemic oppression.

    She explained to MintPress that Barry Farm residents and organizers, including the Barry Farm Study Circle, ONE DC, a nonprofit organization that aims to create and preserve racial and economic equity in Washington, and the Barry Farm Tenants and Allies Association, a residential committee concerned about the coming development, have a list of demands they would like the City Council to heed.

    First, they would like the city to appeal the approval to demolish Barry Farm and to stop any plans to move forward with the process. They also want an independent body to audit the redevelopment process to make it clear how the project plans to move forward, including how much money it will take to relocate current residents.

    A list of these demands and others can be found on the ONE DC website.

    Residents feel very much in the dark about the process going forward. Plus, the District of Columbia Housing Authority has not provided clear information, nor are residents always notified about public meetings regarding their neighborhoods. According to Bilal, current residents have no idea where former residents are placed once they move.

    Bilal, who does not oppose redevelopment as long as it truly incorporates residents into the process, told MintPress she would also like to see a cooperative grocery store, or co-op, established in the neighborhood. A co-op is a member-owned business that returns surplus revenues to member-owners based on how often they use the business. This type of business model could potentially help a lot of people in a low-income neighborhood like Barry Farm by providing cheaper food.

    She also would like to see an entrepreneur-training program set up in the neighborhood. Bilal told MintPress, “People in Barry Farm have been through numerous job training programs. What they need is opportunities to start their own profitable businesses.”

     

    What can people do?

    Gentrification and forced removal are issues often covered as if they’re some monolithic force that both the oppressed and the oppressors are powerless to fight. They’re presented as if the economic forces that change cities and neighborhoods are too great for the poor, who are either forcibly removed or priced out, to push back against. And when newcomers become aware of this injustice, they do not see a way to right the wrongs.

    Forced removal and gentrification are seen as part of a natural economic evolution. This line of thinking assumes that when change comes, some people just have to suffer.

    This is far from the truth, though, according to Turé. Both the haves and have-nots can affect change in their communities. People do not need to be forcibly removed, nor do skyrocketing housing prices need to force long-time residents and business owners from their properties.

    But it will take a movement that effectively puts pressure on those governmental agencies that make decisions over public and affordable housing, he explained.

    “Government should be the proper advocate for the people. Government is converting these public properties into public-private ownership,” Turé told MintPress. “We need to make sure that government does not displace people.”

    Bilal told MintPress that people who want to help affect change in the District should contact her at the Barry Farm Study Circle or some of the other organizations working to protect citizens from displacement, including the Barry Farm Tenants and Allies, ONE DC or Empower DC. She said, “Contact those guardians of public housing that are fighting everyday to protect public housing.”

    “These four organizations have done quite a bit to try to raise people’s awareness about the right to have agency, the right to participate and develop, [and] the right to make Barry Farm what they want,” Turé echoed.

    One of the first things that should be done is to “bring the sunshine,” he says. People need to be aware of what’s going on and they need to take a position that people have a right to live and stay in the capital. “They have a right to live in the city, not just to be in the city,” he said.

    People interested in forwarding this fight, he explained, could continue to challenge the Deputy Mayor’s Office of Planning and Development, along with the D.C. Housing Authority.

    “It’s simple,” Turé explained. “Some people are looking for genie-in-the-bottle kind of answers, but it’s not complex.”

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    • daveATgeorgetown

      Redevelopment gives the city the chance to examine a family’s right to be there. For example, the apartment unit for low income residents was initially acquired by a grandparent, who has since passed. However, the family kept the apartment and paid the low rent. The apartment was never formally transferred due to fear of being denied the apartment due to exceeding the household income requirement. They simply make “too much” to qualify for the unit. However, many can take the opportunity to take on reality, save their money, and look to purchase. One way or another, the city is saying that they will have to go. Those that actually have a right to the apartment will indeed be allowed to return.

      • Francis Parker

        Your statement is true for only a small portion of families. Where ever did you get the idea that this is true for all in public housing? This is simply false. The majority of people displaced cannot return because the housing units are no longer affordable for them.

    • Kiki

      This is the most thorough article I’ve yet to read on this subject. I love how every angle is examined.

      I work for a housing authority so I completely understand BOTH sides. The reality, as I’ve come to know it in my professional practice, is that mixed income housing is safer and promotes equality for low income residents. The reality, from a citizen perspective, is that the residents are right on point with their concerns about displacement and the ability to return to their community.

      I love the plans for Barrry Farm’s redevelopment BUT I believe the resident concerns should be addressed first. As identified in the article, all construction should cease until the residents are completely notified about where they will be temporarily housed and when they can return to the development. Furthermore, I love the idea of the Co-op grocery store.

      It’s important to note that residents can visit the D.C. Housing Authority website, contact their resident counselors, and check their local ANC meeting schedule to see when those community meetings are held. Also, the housing authority staff should be scheduling sessions to devise relocation plans with every resident. That is literally part of their job.

      One more thing, there is a business development center that side of the river, located just a few blocks from Barry Farms in Anacostia (off of MLK). They hold classes and meetings…feel free to drop in!

      https://www.dcsbdc.org

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    • Theodore Lewis

      Growing up in substandard housing and getting a substandard education prevent Blacks from sometimes realizing the importance of Real Estate and owing a home,I became aware of this lack of awareness aftergrowing up in substandard housing project on Chicagos southside.The criminals in Black communities fail to realize the property they devalue make ripe for the Vulture developers to cherry pick and push there families out.

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    • Valerie Howard-Jones

      it’s sad that we think this issue is just about the poverty stircken neighborhoods and not the District as a whole. I just had this discussion this morning. As a native Washingtonian, who works every day and makes a good salary, I couldn’t afford to rent or purchase a home in DC if I tried real hard and it’s a shame! In one year, the rents (for homes and apartments) in the city have more than doubled, making it impossible for working individuals to move if they so decided to; people are stuck because the average rent for a 1 bedroom is over $1,000 in Ivory City, or Trinidad, where the average working person could, in the past afford to rent and live. Now, in those same neighborhoods the rents are averaging $1,500 – $2,000 for a 1 bd, 1 ba. and homes that cost in the low 100’s are now selling for 6 and 700’s! So, this is not just a low income problem, although they are surrfering the most.

      • DoorCty

        People can afford to buy in places like Anacostia, it seems; but due to the crime and poverty they only want to live in the “good” neighborhoods. If one has foresight and can afford the opportunity, I suppose one would have to buy in a transitioning neighborhood before things are gentrified, then benefit after they are.

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    • Concur prior comments, “Barry Farm” needs redevelopment urban blight majority. Economic programs failed; why resident not reluctant, to participated escape upon. Whom a racist fully; aware and care about gentrified polices developers getting deals. On market rate residents, and office space next city of profits “Baltimore” ask the Hood about resolution. Since majority of residents D.C favor: protecting them is this “Black” not profound Barry Farm needs progress! “Housing projects” should been demolished years;ago time for success not regression lingering Barry Farm.

    • Dalek American

      Seriously. Barry Farm is one of the most blighted communities in the city. To say gentrification is happening there is not knowing what gentrification actually looks like. Most of the new developments east of the Anacostia river have been income capped, not market rate. If you want to talk about actual gentrification placing the focus on the projects east of the river, especially Barry Farm, is not it. Frankly this is one of the worst neighborhoods in the district, it’s actually short hand in most of DC for the failure of public housing. It’s blight pure and simple.

    • Mark N Starla Traina

      SC CONFEDERATE FLAG DEBATE: 06-23-2015

      The NAAWP RESPONSE: The CONFEDERATE FLAG is actually a SYMBOL of our SOUTHERN HERTAGE! … which has a lot to do with our SEPERATIST AGENDA for AMERICA in 2015!

      We encourage our YANKEY COUNTERPARTS to embrace BLACK AMERICANS by moving back to CLEVELAND, CHICAGO, BROOKLYN, DETROIT, FLINT, JERSEY CITY, ATLANTIC CITY, BOSTON, DENVER, PITTSBURG, SEATTLE, PORTLAND, WASHINGTON D.C., WATTS, OAKLAND, LOS ANGELES and STOP BUGGING the REST of U.S. about being RACISTS!

      Ironically, the two most RACIST STATES in AMERICA are NEW YORK and CALIFORNIA!

      Interestingly, NEW YORK and CALIFORNIA are both CHOCKED FULL of LILY WHITE LYING LIBERAL DEMOCRATS!

      MARK TRAINA says that FORCED-INTERGRATION has DESTROYED nearly every major AMERICAN CITY over the past 61-years!

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    • Momochez

      One of the problems is after being displaced, upon returning residents have to requalify based on income, household composition, background checks and credit checks. These things change over the years and will be looked at with greater scrutiny upon returning. A household member with any felony in their background will be denied.

    • Eric Clare

      The truth is, it’s not them it’s us! With “us” being those living is subsidized housing for generations. In America progress (capital gain) will drive political and business decisions every time. Every low income community should embrace this reality and community groups should focus on raising funds to better educate youth than the local school system, buy property, help local small businesses start and grow. in communities around the nation, there is much effort put into keeping things the same because it seems unfair to be “removed” from ones home. What is unfair is for a child to be living in subsidized housing like his grandparents. If they will make new, more comfortable housing available on a one for one basis, why not change the “demands” toward services that will end the generational poverty instead of trying to stop progress.

    • Mark N Starla Traina

      BLACKS are now being FORCED to move out of WASHINTON D.C.!

      http://www.mintpressnews.com/beyond-gentrification-hundreds-of-dc-residents-being-forced-from-their-homes/204543/

      Obama to Force Communities to End “Segregation”!

      If the Department of Housing and Urban Development is allowed to implement a new
      regulation, the federal government could have unprecedented power over local
      zoning laws. At issue is the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation,
      which aims to force municipalities to take drastic action to make sure American
      communities are properly integrated according to race. Critics say it’s a
      last-ditch, overriding effort to create an “unrealistic utopia.” Using the
      carrot of grant money, the regulation would “encourage” communities to build
      HUD housing in more expensive areas, upgrade transportation and schools in
      low-income neighborhoods, and “break down barriers to access to opportunity in
      communities supported by HUD funds.” Not surprisingly, conservatives are wary.
      Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona said the Obama administration “shouldn’t be holding
      hostage grant monies aimed at community improvement based on its unrealistic
      utopian ideas of what every community should resemble.” He argued that American
      citizens deserved to retain the right to choose where they wanted to live.
      Proponents of the rule say that the plan is needed to give better opportunities
      to people in poverty. Debby Goldberg of the National Fair Housing Alliance said
      it addressed our “history of putting affordable housing in poor communities.”

      See more at:

      1)
      http://patriotnewsdaily.com/obama-to-force…/…

      2)
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3090544/Whites-moving-Detroit-city-epitomized-white-flight.html

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    • Wanda P

      While I am not prestigious agaist anyone. I have stay in this communtiy for a short while with my kids and heard so many gun shot night after night that it became something of the norm. While I agree help the residents there but teach them how to live outside of their normal envoriment. So, you give them vouchers and move or scatter them into other places through the DMV they take the illead activety and pvoerish mind set and inflict it on other commuites who have thrived to create a home for their family. they will take their mindset into the communities and there starts again another berry farms place in different part of the DMV. It is a crime and shame that people do not realize when you sit on the front all day, stand in a crowd around the corner for 8 hours a day just like a job what that make your community look like. I am being honest with out holding back the gut wrentching truth of what is happening there. What happens when they force the people to move?!?!? those who get vouchers will move their boyfriends in with them knowing they have curtain activities gong on (drugs,gang,guns) cause problem because they feel they can not make it without a man. Come on people wake up clan your won community up!!!! The people who live in the community made it like this not everyone who lives there are bad, lazy or not working. there are some elderly people there as well. There are 4 generations of people there however, do something to clean you own place up. The government did not make it the way it is. If you allow the impoverish mind set to continue be inflicted upon you you can not blame anyone else because there are no hand out for those who want to live in a safe, drug free environment. When we as a people begin to take accountable for what we have done or do then I believe we can learn to build better communities, homes, and families. if people are educated on how to take care of their environment. Stipulation need to be made because there are so many others still in DC General shelter waiting to get help. Just saying you can walk in DC and get TCA benefits have ten kinds without them making parents be held accountable. DC. In MD you have to go to work, school, volunteer and sit in a building or you will not get anything. Maybe if DC enforced better stipulation and rules that may help. People do not leave your help up to anyone person they are going to take Berry Farms and make it so nice that DC is going to be a thing of the past at least for African American please wake up the white man or peope are doing nothing to us. We are doing it to ourselves. get help put down the drugs, guns, stop domestic violence, rapes, selling drugs etc. it only makes it bad for us not them it gives them the upper hand. God bless!

      • DMVoice15

        Yesss Preach i couldn’t agree with you better .. Thank you

    • David Harrison

      I have to transfer to a bus at Anacostia Metro Station – the gun shots I’ve heard MANY times in the evening from those apartments and the area around them is terrifying. I for one am grateful the property will be shut down! Anyone who says it’s better to have them open lives or works far away from them – if not, then they’re simply nutz!

    • Chicken Wing

      Sorry, but I have been a renter in the past, and I have also lived in apartments. I ALWAYS kept my rental property as pristine as my homeowner neighbors. And when I lived in an apartment I was quiet and clean. We didn’t turn our apartment complex into a “911 hotspot”. Maybe blacks need to learn civility.

      • logical

        “Maybe blacks need to learn civility.”

        Anonymity makes people so brave.

        • Chicken Wing

          Yeah, you’re right. My comment is totally baseless. Predominately black neighborhoods are commonly known as safe, comforting crime-free zones where “diversity” is the number one priority!!

          I spoke the truth, why do I need either bravery or anonymity to do so? Could you actually be proving my point for me? Are you inferring that if I stood in a black neighborhood and said that very sentence, my safety would be jeopardized?

          • supershrug

            “Maybe blacks need to learn civility” would sound a lot less weaselly and a lot more like the truth, if you weren’t implying that it’s their blackness that makes them uncivil. Even in your response, you imply that all predominately black neighborhoods are crime-ridden. But, anonymity gives you the the safety from being accountable for your fallacious commentary. You should get punched in the mouth by people of any color, but more likely had you said that in public, you’d lose face and possibly friends.

          • DoorCty

            Controlling for poverty, black neighborhoods do as well as white. It’s that those areas are crime-ridden and poor; not that they’re black. The people who could afford to moved away. And there were plenty of thriving black communities in cities before highways got forced through mainstreet, etc. It’s a downward cycle once it starts, spirals out of control quickly.

    • Anthony Tony Snow Jones

      No one seen this happiness with the new home land security building opening?????? Really??? Then you don’t know DC Government. That’s prime real estate. ……

    • SoDamnHilarious

      No one owes anything to those in poverty. If you are poor then you should accept the generosity of society and be glad for whatever you get.

      • Souixsie Souix

        Who said anyone owes them anything? The first residents were moved there after being displaced for the military, now they are being threatened with displacement again. How about they just leave people alone? No one gave a damn while the place was falling apart, now they see an opportunity to develop more inflated housing for millennials and disguise it as giving a crap.

        • John Simpson

          DId that relocation for the military displacement occur last week, month, or year even? You are using an event from decades ago to make a case for why negros should be allowed to continue running amuck? Come on now? Where is the personal responsibility in that?

    • Leroy Brown

      How can people complain when it was there nothing was done with it but crime, drugs, and chaos. Why do something now and feel sad.

    • Postinaway

      Gentrification is only part of the story. A massive population shift has taken place, toward some urban centers and away from others, most in America’s former industrial heartland. Rural/small town southern whites are as ghettoized and trapped in poverty as urban blacks, and in some ways the situation is worse for the country in that those marginalized white citizens are proving easy to manipulate by elements in our society that care nothing for their well being and who are real threats to all we supposedly stand for as a nation. Instead of mourning vanishing slums, we need to develop programs – not all in the public sector – to actively and directly encourage our citizens to gain the education and skills they need to get better jobs and better lives in our rapidly changing society. The ghetto is vanishing because the old black-white slave-master dependence-noblesse-oblige paradigm is no more. This is ultimately good news for poor urban African-Americans, if only they can be encouraged to seize the day.

    • darrell

      This is about kicking Black folks out, plain and simple. It’s about remaking ‘ Chocolate City” into something else. Of course Mr Mayor Williams signed on for it 10 yrs ago. Blacks are playing checkers, others are playing chess. Aided by sellout, Judas who has their gold, and are off into the sunset, Black are being sold out, and will be left out. If Black don’t stand their ground in D.C, and leadership sells them out, watch out!

      • Chicken Wing

        Ain’t it ironic that the places dubbed “chocolate city” have the highest homicide and violent crime rates in the nation? I guess that’s because chocolate has been proven to be a stimulant!!

        • crackersoup

          You know you are the type of person who likes to be a background shooter you takes shots at ppl in the dark then when the lights come on you act like you did nothing and play the victim when you get approached waiting to call the police You are pathetic and yeah you would need to fear for your life if you did that in a black neighborhood and if I went to a white neighborhood and said all of you are just pale clones of us and the only reason you enslave ppl is because you are weak your skin is fragile the sun can kill you your words are as sharp as the devil and the day will come when you pay what you owe to not only the back ppl but to the world

      • shane Poindexter

        If this was decided 10 years ago, there was more than enough time for these individuals to find housing other housing.

        • Brother Mouzone (AKA NegroWith

          they didnt have the funds to move.. their income was their kids.. which is sad.. the kids have to suffer.

    • chris8lee

      this area is blighted. This is not a “custodial society” we can’t have reservations for the poor and indigent. They need to be integrated into the general public sphere and that can’t happen by funding little tribal enclaves like Barry Farms

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    • Kim Thompson

      This isn’t about gentrification, this is about real estate value, and possibly even tax revenue.

      It’s simple. If you own half an acre of property in DC worth five million dollars, you have two options: maintain a slum full of low-income renters…or sell it to a developer.

      If you are the government and own an acre of land covering in low-income housing you have two choices: spend millions maintaining low-income housing full of people who aren’t paying taxes and require welfare and other services, or sell it to a developer who will turn it into residences that house wealthy tax payers that will generate millions in tax revenue. Generate millions or spend millions? That is the choice at the root of gentrification.

      • Chester Williams

        This has always been an economic issue. The real problem is that every other issue which arises from economic issues are viewed as ancillary until pieces such as this shed light on such concerns. The basic laws of supply, demand (and the prices which serve as an indicator of relative demand) remain in effect: developers still want cheap (to be read as economically distressed or blighted) land to flip, and governments still need money to provide basic services. The gentrification story is an ugly side effect of how this vicious cycle of economics plays out everyday. Put another way, economics is about making “no turning back” choices with the scarce resources we are afforded, so any choice we make will always have, unfortunately, a winner and a loser. It’s essentially a zero-sum game where somebody wins and somebody has to lose.

    • Pingback: ICYMI: Hundreds of poor residents being forced out of DC housing,Texas sends poor teens to adult jail for skipping school, more about Kansas shenanigans… (and more) | Poor as Folk()

    • topryder1

      This is nothing but erasing black people from Washington, DC.

      • G-Boogie

        And your’re right about that. It’s about people who can afford to live where they can. People don’t want tax money going to a place where the people don’t take care and value where they live at.

        • LuvvahSean

          If you read correctly. The article clearly states how areas like Barry Farms were deprived of funding and schools intentionally. I wonder how your neighborhood will look if the government told everyone to stop servicing it and the non service carried on for 10 years. You will then considered Poor yourself in comparison to funded communities. People train others to be certain ways. Look at the military, look at overseas and the environments soldiers are put into. The savage will eventually come out of a person by way of default. And lengthy periods of time have lasting effects. Don’t make excuses for the Brain (The Government) because you are being programed yourself, as an onlooker.

          • G-Boogie

            First off, I live in Anacostia. I knew people and a friend killed in Barry Farms. Fact is the city is changing and it’s trying to weed out the bad elements. My cousin had his sister living in the Farms for years off the Gov’t money and she did do a damn thing of taking advantage of the programs to going to school for a opportunity of getting a good job or career started. This is part of the reason why it’s happening now in Barry Farms. Look at the history of crime and murders that happen for years in there. This is not about “The Brain” taking over, it’s about weeding out the bad elements in the Farm’s.

          • Kim Thompson

            That doesn’t happen in neighborhoods where the residents pay taxes.

            These low-income neighborhoods are massive money pits that drag down local economies, and drive municipalities into bankruptcy.

            Think of it this way: YOU are put in charge of a ghetto. You have two choices…shovel dumptrucks of cash into it, driving the area into bankruptcy and crime, or sell it to a developer who will build nice condos filled with law-abiding tax payers who will generate millions in tax revenue.

            If you have half a brain, the choice is clear.

        • Chingx3

          Barry Farms doesn’t get funding and it was bought by freed african american slaves and developed by them. The government didn’t build or develope that area and therefore has no right to take it over.

      • DoorCty

        *poor people. There, I fixed it.

    • Jason Taliaferro

      Gentrification is bad, but we as a people should learn from this. The article did not once mention anyone lost their house, but rather their homes. I live in DC and understand that Barry Farm has a deep history dating back to the emancipation. Barry Farm’s more recent history is public housing. It is tragic and I know someone affected by this personally. We do not own public housing. It belongs to the government. This is why eminent domain is not being used to move people from Barry Farm. We must own our neighborhoods or this will continue to happen. It is a lot easier to take a home than a house.

      • chris8lee

        GENTRIFICATION is good. Barry Farms is bad..by bad I mean crime ridden and abject

    • chris8lee

      Towards a “Custodial State”..where large segments of the population are “in the custody” of the State. The harsh reality is that unlike other immigrant groups from the Early Twentieth Century, to new arrivals from Asia and East Africa..the “demographics” of Barry Farm have little desire and motivation to “assimilate”..and their rhetoric and the “do gooder ” advocates is that they must be “accomodated” at all cost. At the cost of other professionals and middle class families that would gladly use the land and surrounding civic environment to CONTRIBUTE to the greater good..rather than the “greater good” being exploited to keep them comfortable

      • supershrug

        Because those apples and oranges totally came to this country under the same circumstances, and have similar outlooks on how well an attempt to “assimilate” would go.

    • ursanegro

      yeah, anyone with eyes knew that park morton was on the list. that location is too prime.

    • Herbert J. Gans has been around for a long time and is a highly regarded authority on urban renewal planning, gentrification, and the effects of government policies in these areas on the urban African-American communities.

      In fact, Mr. Gans wrote the draft of Chapter 9 of the Kerner Commission report (“REPORT OF THE NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMISSION ON CIVIL DISORDERS” – 1967 et. seq.). He explained the “Cultural Factors” that had restrained “Negro” men moving up the socio-economic ladder thus:

      “Coming from societies with a low standard of living and at a time when job aspirations were low, (white) immigrants sensed little deprivation in being forced to take the less desirable and poorer-paying jobs. Their large and cohesive families con­tributed to total income. Their vision of the future–one that led to a life outside of the ghetto–provided the incentive necessary to endure the present.

      “Although Negro men worked as hard as the immigrants, they were unable to support their families. The entrepreneurial opportunities had vanished.

      “As a result of slavery and long periods of unemployment, the Negro family structure had become ma­triarchal; the males played a secondary and marginal family role–one which offered little compensation for their hard and un­rewarding labor. Above all, segregation denied Negroes access to good jobs and the opportunity to leave the ghetto. For them, the future seemed to lead only to a dead end.

      “Today, whites tend to exaggerate how well and quickly they escaped from poverty. The fact is that immigrants who came from rural backgrounds, as many Negroes do, are only now, after three generations, finally beginning to move into the middle class.

      “By contrast, Negroes began concentrating in the city less than two generations ago, and under much less favorable con­ditions. Although some Negroes have escaped poverty, few have been able to escape the urban ghetto.”

      Source: http://www.blackpast.org/primary/national-advisory-commission-civil-disorders-kerner-report-1967#sthash.GaCRJ4Jw.dpuf

      That was nearly 50 years ago. I wonder if Mr. Gans has formed new conclusions since then.

      REPORT
      OF THE NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMISSION ON CIVIL DISORDERS – See more at:
      http://www.blackpast.org/primary/national-advisory-commission-civil-disorders-kerner-report-1967#sthash.GaCRJ4Jw.dpuf
      REPORT
      OF THE NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMISSION ON CIVIL DISORDERS – See more at:
      http://www.blackpast.org/primary/national-advisory-commission-civil-disorders-kerner-report-1967#sthash.GaCRJ4Jw.dpuf

    • dubinsky

      one-for-one replacement of subsidized housing along with new units and community resources is pretty darn good

    • dubinsky

      one-for-one replacement of subsidized housing along with new units and community resources is pretty darn good

      • ursanegro

        too bad it almost never happens in practice.

        • dubinsky

          I’ve seen it happen here. can’t claim to know what goes on in D.C.

          • Chingx3

            If you don’t know what’s going on in DC then don’t speak on our matters.

            • dubinsky

              keep jerking

      • ShiKan

        The one for one sounds like the answer?……….However in anticipation of this requirement, units mysteriosly are not re-rented when vacated, are taken off line, are classified as down units or non-revenue community spaces……..It’s not a conspiracy theory folks, I’ve worked for DCHA and a number of developers in the district and KNOW first hand the trickery such as not enforcing lease violations, reducing or eliminating security, refusal to improve curb appeal and allowing unproffessional and ineffective staff to remain in place.

      • Francis Parker

        It would be if it actually happens, but it never has yet.

    • Robert Munro

      Tactics of oppression are perfected on the low income segments of our society and on the defenseless victims in Palestine, Egypt and Yemen so that the Rothschild-Wall Street Cartel can, more effectively, oppress the general population of America and the world.