Who do you blame for gentrification? Maybe the hipsters. That amorphous group to which none subscribe, but as which many dress.
Early adopters of a city’s poor neighborhoods of color. Who displace their residents while making them “cool.” Or “up-and-coming.” Or “whitewashed.”
You wouldn’t be entirely wrong. Only in missing the hipsters’ M.O. One precondition for a kind of free market algorithm to match the gentry with a gentrifying place.
To work it needs vacant housing units priced at the market rate. Which are not to be had when hipsters move into a neighborhood because the rent is cheap. The rent they pay stays cheap.
Until they move out. Of unit after unit. Because of exes, roommate drama, rough environs. No matter the reason.
If no master tenant keeps the lease, that unit is vacancy decontrolled. Whereby its rate of rent increase, heretofore regulated by law, is forfeited to the market.
Done many times over and the neighborhood’s rent does not stay cheap. It goes up, becomes high, then too expensive. Demonstrating the mass of hipsters to be accessory to gentrification. Even to their own detriment.
So they’ll move again. Presume them innocent when they settle down.