Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Affordability and gentrification in Ypsilanti

Gentle readers, if you haven't yet, you should head on over to Concentrate and check out my first piece freelance journalism, Is there still time to nip Ypsi's affordability crisis in the bud?. Affordability and gentrification are really sticky topics and I appreciate the time all the interviewees took to speak with me for the article.

The most striking thing I learned writing the article was that while average rents in Ypsilanti rose 6.1 percent between 2006-2010 and 2010-2015, median household income dropped about 10 percent. The mean household income was essentially flat, growing 0.27% during the same time period. When you look at the time span, what you see in Ypsi incomes is what you see through a lot of the country of the country: an eroding of the middle. If you compare 2015 census data to 2010 census data, there are about 350 more households earning less than $35k as well as 80 households earning more than $150k. There was also a loss of about 400 households earning earning between $35k and $150k between 2010 and 2015.

The good news is that Ypsilanti is in a position to do something about gentrification. The investment that gentrification brings can be used to address some of the issues that gentrification creates. Hopefully there is enough political will to begin to construct a plan to fix some of these problems before it is too late.


  1. If you want to pursue this, you might find valuable data in this nationwide study. I have only glanced at the summary but it evidently discusses poverty and housing supply in regions.

  2. Thanks for the link Vivienne. I'll take a look.