Traditionally, gentrification occurs when real estate prices appreciate, leading to significant cultural change in low-income communities and involuntary displacement of low-income residents. In recent years, Miami, Florida is beginning to feel the impacts of “climate gentrification.” High-income buyers, who historically develop property close to the ocean, are affected by rising sea levels and increasingly look inland to develop areas on higher ground. The influx of real estate investments in these is expected to lead to spiking home prices and property taxes, forcing many longtime community members to abandon their homes.
Homeowners in these communities already report approaches from developers offering buyouts and relocation as renters are experiencing dramatic increases in rent. While the thought of relocating may be appealing to some, due to home prices increasing up to 1,121%, these trends have decreased the overall amount of affordable housing left in the city. As a result, victims of climate gentrification are increasingly forced to leave Miami due to the lack of affordable housing. This article will outline various precautionary initiatives, policy implications, and litigation avenues that should arise as a means to protect these vulnerable communities.
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