|E-victions Accompany E-boom|
|Key Words||Growth, high-tech industry, workers, incomes, property, developers, rents, small businesses, moratoria|
The rapid growth of the high-tech industry requires new facilities for emerging and expanding companies. It is also providing workers with substantial incomes that are being used in part to purchase homes in fashionable neighborhoods. The problem is that in the process many existing businesses and residents are being displaced. Property owners are selling their buildings to commercial developers, rents are rising, and buildings are being gentrified, forcing out lower- and middle-income families and small businesses and non-profit groups.
The picture is the same across the country, from San Francisco and Seattle to Austin, Texas, and Chicago. In San Francisco, in 1999, housing evictions were double what they were in 1996; over the last two years, rents have risen five-fold. In Chicago, low-income housing projects are being demolished to accommodate a high-tech complex.
A political backlash is spreading. For example, in the Mission District in San Francisco -- a Latino working class neighborhood -- proposals are on the ballot to limit high-tech growth. Other cities have already placed moratoria on commercial development. Some dot-coms are trying to win back public support by donating to the community, but it does not compare to the damage done to local communities.
(Updated November 1, 2000)
|Source||Jon Swartz, "The boom in dot-com riles neighbors," USA Today, October 18, 2000.|
Return to the Equilibrium
©1998-2001 South-Western. All Rights Reserved webmaster | DISCLAIMER