Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community claim they’re increasingly being priced out of so-called “gayborhoods” that they helped to establish.
USA Today reported that in areas such as the Castro district in San Francisco, which has long been popular with the LBGT community, home values have risen to nearly $1.8 million on average, while prices for comparable homes in the city average just $1.3 million.
“The gayer the block, the faster it rises in value,” Amin Ghaziani, a professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia and author of There Goes the Gayborhood?, told USA Today.
Ghaziani said that his own research shows there’s an increase in gentrification and rising costs in gayborhoods that are leaving many people in the LBGT community priced out of the market. He found that areas with large numbers of gay households tend to have higher than average real estate prices. His research is backed by other studies which show that areas popular with LBGT community have home values that are double or triple those of nearby areas.
People within the LGBT community tend to be drawn to gay-friendly areas as they fear discrimination in other neighborhoods.
“LGBT people formed their own enclaves in these areas, building thriving businesses and booming communities,” USA Today reported. “And soon after, [heterosexual] families began moving back to the cities.”
But being priced out means that the number of LGBT people in gay areas is falling, Ghaziani said. Petra Doan, a Florida State University professor, added that once the LGBT population falls due to gentrification, those neighborhoods become less welcoming.
“It’s important that we work on all fronts to ensure economic and cultural viability for the LGBTQ+ community," said Rebecca Rolfe, San Francisco LGBT Center's executive director told USA Today. “This includes advocating for strong affordable housing policies… and direct service programs that break down economic barriers by providing trainings, economic assistance, or temporary housing options to those most in need.”
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