District Matters

The complexities of gentrification

By Zachary Kiesch, Teneille Gibson and Perkins Broussard
|  Wednesday, Sep 21, 2011  |  Updated 6:18 PM EDT
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Zachary Kiesch, Teneille Gibson, Perkins Broussard

The demographics of Washington, D.C., are rapidly changing. According to the Washington Post and the U.S. Census Bureau, black residents are on the verge of losing their majority status in the nation’s capital for the first time in half a century.

"District Matters" is a show that discusses complex and often times controversial issues that hit the core of residents in Maryland, Virginia and D.C.

In this episode, host Zachary Kiesch discusses the complexities of gentrification with three figures in the community: Jim Abdo, owner of Abdo Development; Shani Hilton, contributor to the City Paper and the voice behind the article, “Confessions of a Black Gentrifier;” and Rick Lee, owner of Lee's Flower and Card Shop, a U Street business that dates back four generations.

While tenant rights protect renters from developers, often times buyouts can be too good to resist. For residents who do own, new amenities and neighborhood improvements can make taxes unaffordable. These are just a couple of the scenarios that have influenced this change, but there are a number of factors at play.

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