For low-income residents of Austin, Texas, the pandemic’s economic collapse dealt some singular blows. Not only were the small businesses they relied on for work closed or crippled, but an influx of wealthy white-collar workers from more expensive places, like San Francisco and New York, drove housing prices into the stratosphere. As COVID widened and laid bare pre-existing inequities, families of modest means were driven out of their neighborhoods. In this video, The 74 examines the impact of gentrification on the community’s schools, including one where teachers can’t afford to live near their classrooms, either.
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—Edited by James Fields