The Dimensions of Displacement: Baseline Data for Managing Neighborhood Change in Somerville’s Green Line Corridor
The Green Line Extension may benefit the City of Somerville in many ways, but it may also cause displacement of low- and moderate-income residents, said a report released February 11 by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in partnership with the City of Somerville, Somerville Community Corporation, Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership, Friends of the Community Path, and Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) prepared this analysis in partnership with the City of Somerville, Somerville Community Corporation, Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership, Friends of the Community Path, and Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance to illuminate the magnitude of displacement risk associated with the Green Line extension (GLX) in order to help focus action on the strategies with the best potential to mitigate that risk. The report first provides a baseline analysis establishing the current demographic and residential context into which the GLX is being introduced. The report then focuses on four mechanisms by which displacement can occur, and estimates the magnitude of displacement potential from each based on development patterns in comparable neighborhoods. An appendix supplements this analysis with details on modeling assumptions and calculations.
Our analysis suggests that higher rental in costs and a shift from rental properties to condominiums will occur in the GLX corridor over the next ten to fifteen years. Interventions to mitigate the impacts of those changes on vulnerable populations are likely to have the greatest impact before the GLX is completed, and therefore must remain a primary focus for the next five years or more.