Managing Neighborhood Change Toolkit: Anti-Displacement Literature Review

MAPC’s first phase of neighborhood change research included a literature review of academic and non-academic reports released in the past decade that outline anti-displacement polices and strategies grounded in successful case studies. This information was organized into a matrix that catalogues the research by geographic scale (neighborhood, city/town, or regional), by recommended methods, and by recommended policies and strategies employed in case studies. The matrix appears below; follow the links for more information.

For more information about the research, specific recommendations, and case studies, click on a given title and refer to the annotated bibliography of this literature review.




Dealing with Neighborhood Change: A Primer on Gentrification and Policy Choices. The Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy and PolicyLink (April 2001). This report explores recent gentrification dynamics in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area, Cleveland, and Washington, D.C. The authors recommend strategies to address high metropolitan housing prices, short supply of housing compared to job growth, and the need for housing near jobs.
Development without Displacement Task Force Background Paper. The Chicago Rehab Network, The Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement (1995). In this paper, researchers outline approaches, policies, strategies, and programs addressing the issue of development without displacement at the federal and city levels, with a focus on Chicago. Researchers explore municipal programs and strategies to prevent displacement and preserve affordable housing.
Equitable Development Tools to Mitigate Residential Displacement Due to Gentrification: Case Studies of Three Atlanta Neighborhoods. Kaycee Elizabeth Mertz (2008). This study uses Policy Link’s Equitable Development Toolkit (2008) as a model for evaluating the City of Atlanta’s efforts to reduce residential displacement due to gentrification. The author’s strategies range from enacting inclusionary zoning to establishing community land trusts.
In the Face of Gentrification: Case Studies of Local Efforts to Mitigate Displacement. Levy, Comey, and Padilla for the Urban Institute (2006). This report outlines anti-displacement strategies pertaining to housing and asset building in St. Petersburg, FL, Sacramento, CA, Atlanta, GA, Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, and Chicago, IL. The author analyzes tools for the production and financing of affordable housing and tools to build assets for low- and moderate-income residents.
Managing Neighborhood Change: A Framework for Sustainable and Equitable Revitalization. Mallach, Alan (2008). This report outlines strategies for managing neighborhood change to achieve sustainable and equitable revitalization. Strategies to increase neighborhood stability, preserve and expand affordable housing, and prevent involuntary displacement are recommended.
Maintaining Diversity In America’s Transit-Rich Neighborhoods: Tools for Equitable Neighborhood Change. Pollack, Bluestone, and Billingham (2010). The study team identified indicators of neighborhood change and applied them to new transit stations to explore gentrification and displacement. The authors analyze municipal planning tools, such as community benefits agreements and transit corridor planning; and housing market tools, including Housing Trust Funds and TOD Tax Increment Financing Districts.
Mixed-Income Transit Oriented Development Action Guide.  Reconnecting America and the Center for Transit-Oriented Development. The goal of this guide is to help practitioners identify the most appropriate and effective planning tools for achieving MITOD in transit station areas. Recommended tools include transfer taxes, limited equity co-cops, land banking, and incentive-based zoning.
Neighborhood Renewal. D.C. Heath and Company. Clay, Philip (1979). The author provides an overview of the characteristics of key actors in and emerging issues pertaining to gentrification and upgrading neighborhoods. Recommendations include strategies to preserve existing housing stock for low- and moderate-income families include municipal subsidies for renovation, delay of tax assessment increases, and sanctions and incentives to realtors and bankers.
Preserving Affordability and Access in Livable Communities: Subsidized housing opportunities near transit and the 50+ population. AARP Public Policy Institute. Harrell, R., Brooks, A. & Nedwick, T. (2009). This report identifies the policy and program interventions that influence the trajectory of community development, transportation planning, and investment. Research focuses on subsidized affordable housing properties serving older persons.



Recommendations include national and state strategies to preserve affordable housing, integrate transit and land use planning in funding criteria for affordable housing and transportation investments, and approaches to senior populations.
Preventing Displacement Policy Fact Sheet. Great Communities Toolkit (2007). This fact sheet identifies four types of displacement—direct and indirect residential displacement and direct and indirect commercial displacement—and discusses mitigation measures.


Tools for preventing displacement include rent control, condo conversion ordinance, real estate transfer tax, jobs/housing linkage fees, and tax increment financing from redevelopment funds.
Promoting Neighborhood Diversity: Benefits, barriers and strategies. The Urban Institute. Turner, M. A. & Rawlings, L. (2009). This report makes recommendations pertaining to federal enforcement to monitor real estate practices at the local level, public education, affordable housing development incentives, and reinvestment. Recommendations include enforcement to combat persistent discrimination, affordable housing development to open up exclusive communities, and reinvestment to equalize the quality of minority neighborhoods.
Discourses and Experiences of Social Six in Gentrifying Neighborhoods: A Montréal Case Study. Canadian Journal of Urban Research. Rose, Damaris (2006).


This study features interviews with new infill condo owners in gentrifying neighborhoods of Montreal, with a focus on how they feel about diversity and affordable housing in their communities. The primary recommendation is to pursue low- and moderate-cost infill affordable housing development at the municipal level.