Housing, Gentrification and Homelessness


“Our home is where we launch our lives from on a daily basis. Therefore, housing is an important area of study and intervention as it carries vital health and social implications.” Diana Hernandez, Mailman School of Public Health

The mix kicks off with Madness “Our House” a nostalgic remembrance of a childhood in a working class household.

DrazeThe Hood Ain’t the Same” describes how gentrification hit Seattle’s South and Central District neighborhoods.  This track launched a series of community dialogues on community displacement and gentrification.

The 2001 Fugazi track, “Cashout” also focuses on gentrification and the collusion of city officials and developers in the band’s Washington, D.C., stomping grounds.

In “I want my City Back” the Mighty Mighty Bosstones sing about the changes that have come to their favorite neighborhoods in Boston.

Bringing a heavy dose of satire, in “Kill the Poor” the Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra takes intensive homeless eradication, like the street and encampment sweeps occurring in several cities, to its extreme conclusion.

The opening to Madness’s “One Better Day” references Arlington House, a homeless shelter in the Camden Town neighborhood of London.  The video for the song was shot on the streets in front of, and around, Arlington House.

In the “The Perils” Old Man Saxon describes the year he spent living in a 2001 Ford Explorer, showering at gyms and eating McDonald’s Happy Meals twice a day

Numerous bands have written songs about the homeless they have encountered near their practice spaces or recording studios – R.E.M. “Oddfellows Local 151”. Beastie Boys “Johnny Ryall”, and Pearl Jam “Even Flow” are classic examples.

In “Lets Lynch the Land Lord” the Dead Kennedys sing about corrupt land lords and living in apartment conditions that are one step above squatting.

The Mix: