With this given context, please answer the following questions and discuss with your classmates:
1. How do you define "marginal gentrifiers" in your own terms?
2. The NYT articles outline an on-going housing crisis in NYC. Will the "marginal gentrifiers" and the low-income tenants be affected in the same way or differently? Could they be both affected? How? You may yse news articles or your own personal experiences to illustrate your points.
My answer: Marginal gentrifiers can be defined as the middle-class capitalists, professional developers and property owners who rehabilitate marginal or deteriorated cities or suburbs to make them livable for the class. The pay difference is the major distinguishing factor between the gentrifiers and the unemployed or the unestablished working class. Gentrification has a de-vitalizing effect on the less established working class since the process destroys the neighborhood culture (Smith, 1982). Moreover, the inhabitants of the renovated neighborhoods are relocated to less costing houses. I believe that the gentrification also results in segregation. Rehabilitation of the cities and suburbs attracts the middle-class forcing the low-class to relocate for more affordable housing. I think that the housing crisis is affecting both the marginal gentrifiers and the low-income tenants though in different ways. As the haves inhabit the developed cities and suburbs, the low-income earners are left to languish in deteriorated suburbs. Due to movement of capital, gentrification may set in elevating the status of the marginal gentrifiers while causing eviction on the low-income tenants who cannot pay rent for the refurbished neighborhoods.
Based on my answer, wirte 100 words comment to classmate's answer:I would define marginal gentrifiers as people who seek affordable housing with aesthetic and character. In many ways they are the catalyst of what begins to create the gentrification cycle. As people begin to move shortly but surely other people who have noticed a shift in demographics peeks their interest because of the historical features, culture, and or aesthetic value of the neighborhood. This becomes a classic form of commodification of an area and marketability rises because of the marginal gentrifiers. Their slightly higher income allows extra room for splurging habits and this in essence allows for new businesses to come into these neighborhoods because gentrification is a trend in essence. The whole aesthetic value of a neighborhood lies in a white washed version of what the originally neighborhood use to be because the new population of people are higher in income. Lower income tenants are affected differently than marginal gentrifiers. They are not able to keep up with subsistence all the while be able to buy other utilities and therefore are the bottom tier that gets displaced. I have seen it happen within my own neighborhood unfortunately and have noticed that the low income neighbors that lived in my building have since resolved to move because of the marginal gentrifiers. The rent gap is so significant that it is approximately a one thousand dollar difference. The marginal gentrifiers have no problem paying that because apparently they continue to move in at an alarming rate. They are able to not only pay the rent but be able to afford their other utilities as well.
Answer:Even though marginal gentrifiers may come to a closer degree of salary as the local residents have, albeit usually being a bit higher, I think the most important role that they have is the purchasing patterns that they bring that are different than the locals. Since these gentrifiers seek a whitewashed version of the culture they seek to come into contact with, they will begin to spend money that caters to their interests instead of what the locals prefer. Demand will create a supply, and that supply will not be what many of the residents would have wanted. When you look at neighborhoods that have these marginal gentrifiers, you'll see a similar pattern of coffee shops and more trendier stories pop up. Along with rising rent prices, this is what ultimately hurts local residents the most, a loss of their own neighborhood.
Comment: I definitely agree with how you defined marginal gentrifiers. I agree in that they are able to spend frequently and they truly seek a white washed version of the neighborhood they're moving in to. I specifically live in the area of Woodside, Queens and I've noticed that a lot of the mom and pop shops have started to change their aesthetic. They have an industrial foundry type look to it with wooden tables and metal seats. The store owners are trying to change their look because they know that new residents are moving in fast and at an alarming rate and therefore they need to change alongside with the overall character of the area. A lot of the mom and pop shops that aren't able to keep up with the trend are run out of business because they don't fit the overall aesthetic.