Tenants Oppose Gentrification Through Use of TOPA
Tenants in Washington DC are using an old law to fight gentrification as many sections of the population face discrimination and eviction in certain parts of the capital. Tenants like Vera Watson, who heads the Tenant Association of her building Museum Square, are making use of the Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act, 1980. The building has low or middle-income African-American and Chinese tenants who have seen the area around developing from scratch. It now has cafes, supermarkets, etc. nearby, which has further prompted the landlords to sell it for luxurious constructions. The wealthy white population of DC has been gradually shifting into the core areas and avoiding the suburbs. This has led to the ethnic cleansing of the lower-income groups, particularly the ethnic communities. Laws such as TOPA can come to the rescue of tenants, provided they have sufficient resources to meet the necessary conditions of buying or obtaining higher payouts.