How to Gentrify a Neighbourhood

Supriya Ambwani | 


Gentrification is the greatest gift we have given to the poor. I shudder to think about how dreary their lives were before they got avocado toast for breakfast and a Whole Foods on their block. Like, what did they even Instagram? Those unfortunate souls had been abandoned by the pleasures of wokeness before we selflessly swooped into their lives to save them from their communities and bodegas. They are slowly being redeemed by our selfless missions.

Unfortunately, many of those ungrateful people refuse to be helped. They refuse to move out of their homes, blabbering incoherently about things like family and roofs over their heads. This guide has been written to help you help others. Follow the steps listed here to get the poor, uncool people out of a neighbourhood and make it a great place to live in.

  1. Identify a cheap neighbourhood.
  2. Buy as much property as you can afford in the neighbourhood. If you play your cards right, the banks will lend you extra money to buy more properties.
  1. Raise the rents on all your properties to force those people out.
  2. If the damned liberal city government says that you have to respect rent controls, systematically neglect your properties. Fire the super, ignore your tenants’ phone calls, release rats on the stairs, accidentally destroy the water and electricity lines, and hire someone to shit on every fire escape landing.
  1. Wait for the rats to chew your tenants’ toes and for them to get sick of feeling like they are in Cape Town or Sana’a.
  1. If they are actually from Cape Town or Sana’a and can live without water, ‘accidentally’ shut down the elevator while they’re inside and leave for the night (and the next day).
  1. Pretend to be concerned when you find their famished bodies in the elevator three days later and vow to take action.
  2. If the stubborn fools continue to stay there, bribe your friends in the government to declare the buildings unfit for human habitation and make those people leave.
  1. Do not forget to give them cardboard boxes to sleep in because you are a benevolent, socially responsible human being.
  1. Paint your buildings, restore water and electricity, and clean up the shit on the fire escapes.
  1. Sell woke millennials authentic housing in an ethnic neighbourhood.
  2. Build a yoga studio, a smoothie shop, an African dance room, and a bong shop to attract other woke millennials.
  3. Chill with all your $$$

You’re welcome,

The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York