Panel Paper: The Population Impact of East Liberty Revitalization

Friday, July 20, 2018
Building 3, Room 208 (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Tayo Fabusuyi1, Victoria Hill1 and Eric Jester2, (1)Numeritics, (2)NewBurgh Real Estate

What factors explain the loss of approximately 940 African Americans in East Liberty between 2007 and 2015? Our analysis reveals that the loss happened mainly in two waves. The first wave occurred before the neighborhood was revitalized, and was related primarily to foreclosure and abandonment that accelerated around 2007. The second wave began as the neighborhood transitioned; the result of increased market forces and the conversion of multiple (typically three) apartment structures back to single family properties. Using a mixed methods approach, our analysis revealed that close to 70% of the population loss is accounted for by units simply being abandoned and/or uninhabitable in the time frame 2005-2011. This loss was comprised primarily of low income, at risk residents who were predominantly African American. This finding is notable not just to counteract the erroneous narrative that the displacement of African Americans happened only after the neighborhood was deemed a desirable place to live in but also to guide our knowledge of what’s happening in other Pittsburgh neighborhoods facing similar conditions.