For low income neighborhoods, simply passing legislation to improve the environment is not enough. There also needs to be housing policy ensuring that those who live in these neighborhoods are able to keep their homes as conditions improve and rent begins to rise.

Fusion explains the complicated relationship between gentrification and the environment:

The trouble for environmental groups looking to correct both institutional problems and historical events that have put minorities in neighborhoods more exposed to pollution is that they’re often singularly focused on solving pollution problems at the invitation of the affected community. Whether that community has a more robust housing policy plan to ensure rents don’t rise too quickly after remediation is usually outside their scope. And even if community activists seek such measures, city council members are hesitant to award rent control or housing subsidies because they can depress tax revenues by keeping higher, market-rate housing at bay.

D’Artagnan Scorza, founder and executive director of the SJLI, said residents expressed concern that they’d make Inglewood “more desirable” and that “white people are going to move in here and we’re going to be priced out.”

These worries underscore a phenomenon well documented in urban ecology circles: That adding significant green space or other amenities to once-blighted neighborhoods can attract wealthier outsiders who displace long-time residents.

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