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West Greenville is no longer a majority Black neighborhood

Ken Kolb, Chair, Department of Sociology.

Ken Kolb, Furman University associate professor of sociology and chair of the department, studies housing trends in the university’s hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. At a City Council meeting where he cited data from the U.S. Census Bureau and American Community Survey, he presented what he sees as a troubling trajectory for lower income residents in the historically Black neighborhoods of West Greenville and Southernside. Residents there, particularly renters who comprise 75% of the population, are feeling the squeeze of rising property values and are at an ever increasing risk for displacement.

Kolb spoke to a reporter for The Greenville News about the trend and ways the city can create affordable housing and curb “commercial creep” so that lower income citizens are not priced out of their homes.

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