Charleston-based group holds gentrification forum for city’s neck area

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Rapid growth and development are happening around the country and the effects are seen locally.

Some of these changes are impacting lower-income neighborhoods and driving folks out of their homes.

“Charleston Promise Neighborhood” is a Charleston-based group focused on improvements to Charleston’s neck area. On Thursday, the group’s community engagement council held a forum to discuss the effects of gentrification in the area.

Merriam-Webster defines the term gentrificationas the process of repairing and rebuilding homes and businesses in deteriorating areas that is accompanied by an influx of middle-class or affluent people that often results in the displacement of earlier, usually poorer residents.

The neck is a part of town where Charleston and North Charleston connect near Meeting Street Road. It’s also an area that has seen lots of change recently.

The forum was part three of a four-part series called The Miseducation of Gentrification. The focus was set on housing and how these recent changes effect homeowners and renters.

Sherri Snipes-Williams is the CEO of Charleston Promise Neighborhood and says the goal of these events are to engage the community in these conversations and give them information they need.

“Speakers [talked about] tenant issues, renter issues, but also issues for homeowners, as well trends locally and nationally to help residents navigate the changes that’s happening in the community,” said Snipes-Williams.

People came out to learn about different topics like what to do about heirs’ property which is property that is inherited, usually without a will. Many people also learned what the City of Charleston has been working on in terms of affordable housing.

Jeff Pointer lives in Charleston’s neck area and says by getting these types of events are important for the community to be involved in.

“I think there’s a lot to be learned within the community and to be shared and help it grow and continue to flourish,” said Pointer.

The fourth part of the series will focus on education and economic development.

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