‘Our interests matter’: Puerto Rican older adults in the age of gentrification

Ivis García*, Merida M Maria Rua

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Gentrification scholarship often focuses on the vulnerability of long-term residents in general (for example homeowners, renters, and low-income older adults) to displacement, though not necessarily with focal attention to how this process specifically affects low-income minority older adults. Using ethnographic data, the authors prioritise and examine the experiences of aging low-income Puerto Ricans who, by way of senior-designated affordable housing, remain in some of Chicago’s most rapidly gentrifying communities. Interviews, focus groups, and participant observations are supplemented with data from the US Census from 1970 to 2010 in order to document some of the demographic changes that have been taking place in what were once majority Puerto Rican neighbourhoods. We find that while low-income older Latina and Latino residents are able to stay in a gentrifying neighbourhood, surrounded by new amenities, they still find limited spaces where they feel welcomed, resulting in indirect displacement. We argue that considerations of aging in place should not only include affordable housing, but should also include an accessible neighbourhood in terms of mixed-uses that support the wants and needs of low-income and minority older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3168-3184
Number of pages17
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number14
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • built environment
  • displacement/gentrification
  • neighbourhood
  • race/ethnicity
  • social group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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