Portland Road - Gentrification

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Why was Portland Road so desirable?

Portland road is within close proximity to central London and is easily accessible. London, being one of the three major World Cities brings in trade and foreign investment everyday and therefore any area within close proximity to London is always a hot spot for developers.

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What is 'gentrification'?

Gentrification is the natural process of regeneration of an area. Improvement of housing by wealthier residents moving into older housing in a state of disrepair. This is not a specific government policy but is based on individual action.

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Gentrification in Portland Road

In 1957, rent control was abolished in Portland Road enabling investors and developers to invest in property here. 

Prior to 1957, Portland Road was one of the most deprived and run-down slums of London, with people forced to share bathrooms and live in the fear of crime.

From 1957 onwards, homes were improved by:

  • Loft conversions
  • Basement conversions
  • Re-enforcing ceilings and floors
  • Installing central heating and boilers
  • New electrical systems
  • New windows
  • Insulating walls
  • Adding bathrooms
  • Garden upkeep
  • Addition of driveways

One house was valued at £11,750 in 1968 and now, it is worth over £2 million

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Positive effects of gentrification on Portland Roa

Positive Effects

  • Booste local economy
  • Wealthier people move in providing more money for business
  • As the population expands, so do job opportunities in the area
  • Increase in number of services
  • Improved quality of life
  • Increase in tax revenue, allowing the community to invest in better infrastructure 
  • Increased spending on law inforcement, thus the crime rate decreased
  • Decrease in empty properties
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Negative Effects of gentrification on Portland Roa

Negative Effects

  • The area has changed TOO much
  • A single road splits the Northern 'poorer' end with the 'richer' areas
  • There is no sence of comunity because the new arrivals are either foreign, or are businessmen and women causing the houses to be vacant for long periods of time
  • Jobs offered are only for more 'intelligent' people
  • People can now not afford to live there due to the high price of the land
  • Local amenities such as bread and milk are now not on sale on the street
  • Shops target higher end customers, e.g baby blankets for only £800...
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