Community vision puts health of families at the center of housing and displacement

Involuntary displacement threatens public health and safety by decreasing housing and health quality across the community while exacerbating existing health inequities.

JULY 30th, 2018. In Denver and nationwide, involuntary displacement jeopardizes the health and well-being of historically “redlined” communities, historic and present day sites of systemic racial and economic discrimination. Following decades of divestment and exclusion from The City of Denver's public and private spending, rental and housing costs now skyrocket across Globeville and Elyria-Swansea-- the City of Denver’s recent cataclysmic public and private investments in I-70 and National Western Center have exploded the speculative real estate market across the surrounding neighborhoods, putting the majority of the community at risk of involuntary displacement.

 

  • National research shows that development that does not embrace “development without displacement” causes “displacement of poverty”, rather than improving living conditions and health-outcomes of our neighborhood's most-vulnerable and housing insecure families.

 

  • GES Coalition’s public testimony on involuntary displacement has shown that individual, family, and community-level health face a wide range of negative effects, including emotional and financial distress, loss of community services and institutions, and increase in overcrowded and substandard housing conditions.

 

  • Testimony of those who are living under threat of displacement experience a dramatic increase in stress. Testimony of residents who have already been displaced show that they suffer major stress, high relocation costs, decreased disposable income, disruptions to employment and health care, fragmentation of community support networks including substantial loss of social capital, and direct impacts on mental and psychological well-being.

 

  • Involuntary displacement has been shown to harm families, neighborhoods, cities and societies as a whole-- by exacerbating segregation, increasing social and health inequities, destroying social capital, and contributing to rates of chronic and infectious diseases.

 

  • For children, involuntary displacement destabilizes their social networks and routines, and has been directly linked to declining school performance.

Research cited:

  • "Development without Displacement: Resisting Gentrification in the Bay Area" Causa Justa/ Just Cause and Alameda County Public Health Department, 2015

  • "GES People's Survey: A Story of Displacement" Globeville Elyria-Swansea (GES) Coalition Organizing for Health and Housing Justice, 2017