By: Karina, Amani, and Minhaj
So far my group and I have a set outline for our article. We’re still trying to organize it better and decide what exactly we want our audience to know. We have done some research about gentrification and how it has changed Brooklyn, but for the most part I believe that we will probably speak more from our experiences. We also plan on including some images that show the change in the neighborhoods we live in to hopefully have more of a lasting impact on our readers though visuals.
Dr. Carrie Hall
April 4th, 2019
On My Block (Gentrification Memo)
Gentrification has become a big problem in Brooklyn. Residents of Brooklyn and packing up and leaving their homes because she can’t afford to pay the increasing rent. I researched gentrification happening in neighborhoods in Brooklyn like Crown Heights and the rise of gentrification in East Flatbush. In neighborhood like these with a huge Caribbean immigrant population it’s sometimes hard to see it changed in order to make room for higher paying residents. You see local Caribbean food places close down so food places like sushi can open up. Having Cocktails bars replace the fried chicken spots, and Pet spas to giving these new income residents a reason to stay.
Many residents don’t want to move to places like Brownsville, or East New York because they don’t want to be surrounded with the violence and crime that comes with living in those neighborhoods, especially when they are raising young men and women, they rather leave the state of New York. Many even move to Boston, Maryland, or Philadelphia for affordable living but travel back to Brooklyn to shop at their local markets and food places that they enjoy and are used to. A Lot of people end up moving in with their parents because they can’t afford to pay their rent when it increases, or they can’t pay the asking prices for a new apartment. Many landlords even stoop as low as not providing heat nor hot water to force their tenants out. Landlord are even buying tenants out and offering them as much as 10,000-70,000. It seems like a lot of money to middle-income people, but in fact is nothing, its pocket change. When they add up moving expense, taxes, and the cost of to find a new apartment they would have been better off sticking it out at their old apartment.
Some warnings signs of gentrification are landlords increasing the rent tremendously because they know existing tenants can’t afford to pay it. Landlords coming in and changing things like your kitchen countertop which has been there for 10 years to a brand new expensive one. See your childhood neighbors moving out and moving to places like Atlanta and Virginia. What is really common is that that landlords are withholding repairs with the hopes that their current tenants with move out so they can repair and make room for higher-income renters.
A Lot of middle-income residents are living the city of Brooklyn and the state of New York altogether because of the cost of living. Landlords in the neighborhoods I research are not helping the situation of gentrification, in fact they are part of the reason we are losing our neighborhood to rich white folks, who can afford to pay these ridiculous prices these apartments are going for now. Gentrification inn Crown Heights is in a rush and it is slowing moving to East Flatbush. You can slowing see new condos and high-rise building being built in East Flatbush. Rents are slowing stating to increase and more Caucasian people are staying on the train pass Atlantic Ave.
April 4, 2019
Brooklyn has changed drastically over the past few decades. Our low income neighbors are being displaced as newer, richer people take over. Starbucks are taking over our local bodegas, family owned businesses are closing, and rents are going up, Brooklyn is becoming the next Manhattan. But why is Brooklyn being so gentrified?
I don’t think there is one real explanation for why people come to live in Brooklyn and gentrify it to their liking. There are so many factors that contribute to the gentrification of what was once Brooklyn. For one, Brooklyn is pretty close to Manhattan allowing easy movement of people from borough to borough whether it’s through a car or train. Brooklyn is also in high demand of bigger businesses coming in, who can afford the higher rents such as the Chipotle’s we see. Money rules our world, wherever the money is, is where the people will follow. The rich can afford to buy property, drive up rent prices, making the neighborhood less minority filled and bringing in more high rise luxury apartments that most of us can’t afford.
According to the New York Post “escalating housing costs — spurred by gentrification — have driven lower-income Hispanics out of once the predominantly Latino neighborhoods.” Due to higher rents, low-income families are forced to leave their neighborhoods and move to other boroughs like the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island, which are more affordable for them.
The true culprit that started gentrification was the “rezoning of parts of Downtown Brooklyn in 2004 to allow for denser residential growth, the area has seen the development of new condominium towers, townhouses, and office conversions, which all have spurred population growth,” according to James Dinsdale who was a student at John Jay College. The rezoning has allowed more retail shops to come into Brooklyn, more offices, and of course more people. It’s shocking, yet amazing to see how the heart of Downtown Brooklyn is being modernized and filled with shops while just a few blocks away we have affordable housing projects with many low-income families struggling. Rezoning is the action or process of assigning land or property to a different category of restrictions on use and development allowing developers to build higher buildings, and so on.
According to Jillian Steinhauer’s article “development companies are given huge subsidies to build condos, and new residents receive deals that allow them to not pay property taxes for the next 10 years!” This article is from 2013, which means the 10 years these developers were given have not finished yet, we can see more changes coming to Downtown Brooklyn and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
I currently live in Park Slope, Brooklyn which has become one of the most gentrified neighborhoods in Brooklyn. My mom was born and raised in Park Slope and has seen it changed throughout her life. While we walk the streets she would tell me things like “wow, I remember when this was an empty lot where we would all play,” Today we see see expensive supermarkets or high rise condos in placement of those empty lots. When I asked her when she noticed Park Slope was changing she told me it was back in the early 2000’s. Park Slope used to be filled with minorities, burned down buildings, corner stores and empty lots all over but now it’s the new mini Manhattan.
Dr. Carrie Hall
April 4th, 2019
Many people that have lived in their neighborhood for more than a decade would realize that there is no changes that need to be done in there neighborhood. When more people move in and try to change things around for the better of themselves but not knowing that the people in there new neighborhood would not like the change that when it becomes a problem.
It becomes a problem because some people feel as if they are trying to take over in there neighborhood and they don’t realize that people are being affected by the way there neighborhood looks. The way you can resolve the issue is by making the people in your neighborhood realize that there is a problem and they are not noticing it. If you talk to the people in the neighborhood and come to an agreement with them then it is a neighborhood change and not only a change of what you feel is right.
In Brooklyn you will notice that in some neighborhoods there are people who hang out in front of the bodega shops and just drinks and smoke in front of it. Some people feel as if that is the wrong thing to do. There are little kids that walk by them and wonder what they are doing and they feel as if it is a bad example for their kids and some people want that to change.
People that move into new neighborhood specifically white people they feel as if they invest in buildings and raise they rent of the places that they move to will benefit the neighborhood. They feel as if the people that live in the buildings are living in junk. The people that are living there shouldn’t have to live in those types conditions. When they fix it, It then becomes a problem because of the rent. The raise the rent because the conditions of the apartments have gotten better. Some people don’t mind living in bad conditions if it brings there rent down. The “white people” don’t understand that. That is where crime plays a role in the neighborhood because people make changes without noticing the cons of doing it. Then the crime levels rise do to the fact that people lack money and they cant pay for it. It becomes a major change for them.
After people leave there neighborhoods and they come back to visit once in a while notice the changes that happen after they left. They realize what is done was done for the better of the people. They remember how hard it was back then and how often they would feel sick due to the conditions but they only realize after they left and not during the time they lived there. Sometimes changes in a neighborhood might not be that bad but make the changes with out consulting with the people that live around you might not be the best decision you make.
Hey everyone! For Tuesday, please post your research memo on OpenLab and also bring in a copy for EACH MEMBER OF YOUR GROUP.
The research memo is just 1.5-2 pages in which you summarize what you learned in your research. I’m not grading you on grammar or anything. Remember! Extra credit for groups that have interviews in their research.
For the memo please click two categories: “Community Problems” AND your group’s category
- Preventing college date rape (category: “preventing rape”)
- Noise Pollution
- On My Block
- MTA: System fighters (category: “system fighters”– this is Shauntai, Ife and Josh.)
- Living in NYC
- Saviors of the MTA (category: “saviors” David, Pavel, Eric)