Author: WTU

The Redevelopment Agencies (RDAs) and Their Role in Gentrification and Rising Cost of Living

The Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City (RDA) is an organization dedicated to creating a favorable environment for investment for wealthy real estate developers. The RDA uses “strategic development projects” such as building shopping centers, homeless camp abatements, and replacing homeless shelters and affordable housing with luxury housing in order to displace working class communities. 

Without an understanding of the particular, day-to-day, block-by-block actions being used to move the gentrification forward we cannot be effective in opposing it. When we identify these day-to-day activities, we can realistically frustrate the plans of the rich and powerful.

City-level coordination between real estate and public officials is a primary mechanism for gentrification. This coordination occurs through the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) of Salt Lake. 

For example; rent is generally higher near central hubs, such as 9th and 9th, Sugarhouse, Downtown, or Mainstreet Rose Park. The city plans to use the RDA to attract investors into specific neighborhoods and blocks with the goal of artificially creating community hubs, thereby creating momentum for gentrification in working-class neighborhoods.

The Redevelopment Agency is staffed with real estate’s people. These people are formerly or currently involved in real estate businesses or interest associations, or have family and associates who are involved. 

An important demand is ending the RDA as it is currently constituted. This is a requirement before we can realistically implement any of our positive demands (public funding being used on affordable housing to strategically gouge rent costs, more public space, more shelters, more housing subsidies, etc.) in any viable sense.