Displacement

Displacement

Private, resource heavy universities engage in a form of hyper-gentrification by using local ordinances, capitalizing on their tax-exempt status, and benefitting from state and federal dollars as well as from private sector partnerships to reshape communities. Through these institutional and financial advantages, universities have widened their neighbor footprints by aggressively purchasing properties in predominantly poor and working class black neighborhoods. Moreover, universities fail to intervene when their students perpetuate housing inequality. In many of the neighborhoods adjacent to urban universities, and within the walls of the amenity-rich, planned apartment communities in smaller college towns, students can often afford to pay higher rents than locals. Landlords seeking to profit from the steady stream of student renters become motivated to push out locals, who increasingly will not be able to afford rising rents. Rarely do residents have the political or economic capital to confront and resist this type of gentrification, and universities have little incentive to stop it, particularly if the private rental market fulfills their student housing short falls.