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It’s a word you’ve likely heard. Its meaning and impact largely depend on what your family earns. The word is gentrification.
Oxford defines it as the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste. Dozens of examples can be spotted throughout Knoxville, especially on the east side of the city.
A brief online search offered an example: On Zillow, one home on Selma Avenue is listed for $174,900. The site says it was sold in May for $50,000.
Nikitia Thompson, who was born and raised in East Knoxville, sees good and bad in urban revitalization.
“You have the ones that want to stay here that have been here two, and three, and four generations, that now may have to move out and they can’t afford to live here,” Thompson said. That’s the bad.
The Community Development Administrator for the City of Knoxville, Linda Rust, also sees the problem.