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Apartment shopping in the jungle pt 4

April 29, 2010
tags: ,

Popular picture that circled the internet when areas in Brooklyn, NY that were once considered completely off-limits were being gentrified .

Yes, I’m still looking for that perfect place in DC to live. I saw one place this week that I really liked, but I don’t want to get my hopes up. I’m still going to continue my search and keep emailing and calling people. Since we’re looking at places in SE, NE, and my favorite Waterfront area in SW; we’re seeing a lot of places in areas that were once considered bad neighborhoods in DC. I have very mixed feelings about the places we’ve seen in the newly or soon-to-be gentrified areas. Gentrification is when cities decide to build higher income housing in areas where lower-income housing was. I think U St is a prime example of DC’s gentrification and how it can change the feel of an entire neighborhood. You can tell that Ben’s Chili Bowl is one of the few places on U St that survived the change over the years. It’s great that DC is growing and flourishing as a city, but it is sad to see mostly African-America people being moved out of the city.

I don’t have any jungle tips for how to handle viewing properties in gentrified areas, but I did hear a promising story about low-income housing that is keeping people in good places in DC. There is a low-income housing development in SE in the Congress Heights area, Wheeler Terrace, that moved everyone out this past January. Then, the Community Preservation and Development Corporation helped green all the apartments by installing energy-efficient appliances, using recycled tile for the kitchen and bathroom, and installing water flow adjustment toilets. They also built playgrounds for young children in each courtyard and planted trees. And they moved everyone that wanted to move back into the complex back a few weeks ago. Here’s a great article about greening Wheeler Terrace: http://greenhome.org/latest/wheeler_terrace_rebuilding_a_c.html. It’s my hopes that this trend continues to across DC and gentrification isn’t the only thing I see when I’m walking around.

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