Gentrification’s ‘winds of change’ the focus of weekend forum in Germantown

For some Philadelphians, gentrification is a dirty word or — at the very least — an eyebrow raiser.

As they watch their namesake neighborhood creep towards becoming a “choice” spot for newcomers, the folks over at Germantown United CDC decided they want to help prepare residents for change.

Event specifics

On Saturday, GUCDC will host a free, all-day community forum on gentrification inside Mastery Charter’s Pickett Campus, 5700 Wayne Ave.

“The Big G” will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“It’s the elephant in the room,” said board member Yvonne Haskins of gentrification. “It’s something that we need to talk about and figure out if there are ways to manage it.”

Preserving affordability and protecting homeowners and renters from potential bumps in real-estate prices will be a major focus of the forum.

The speakers

Weighing in on those topics and more will be Colvin W. Grannum (president and CEO of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation), Nora Lichtash, (executive director of the Women’s Community Revitalization Project), Steve Mullin(president of Consult Solutions) and Betty Turner (co-founder of Germantown Community Connection).

In the morning, Alan Greenberger, the city’s deputy mayor for economic development, will moderate a roundtable “Meet the Press” style discussion.

After lunch, participants will break into four groups that will each tackle a different topic connected to gentrification with an eye on possible solutions. Each workshop will be led by one of the four panelists.

Financial literacy, affordable housing and the impact of the city’s new Land Bankwill be among the subjects up for debate.

Participants will end the day by coming together to hear about each workshop’s discoveries.

“We feel the winds of change from the energy that people are showing in their attention to all of these various projects in the community,” said Haskins. “Sooner or later, Germantown is going to be a choice neighborhood. It’s going to be a neighborhood that people want to live in more and more.”

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