9 thoughts on “When reflecting on historical FHA/Housing practices that promoted wealth disparities between racial groups, I ask “How much has changed?”

  1. Jenn

    Anyhow based on this article I just read about Ehpraim who is buying buildings or apartments of African American people to then rent them again at double the price with just white people, clearly nothing has changed. It is sad to realize that racism still exists and that people still stereotype people of color. I would say people also need to get more educated because them accepting the low ball just because at the moment it seems like a lot of money also kind of feeds into stereotypes. We have to push people to get more informed and stop selling out to gentrification because before we know there won’t be any history left because of all the old tenants that have spent half of their lives there have moved.

  2. dorcas

    Well, nothing has changed because people are still looking for ways to buy out Black people from having properties that can help them to generate wealth. We learn that properties in poor black neighborhoods do not generate as much value as the ones in white neighborhoods. This guy Ephraim knows the weakness of poor people, their lack of education and information of current property values. Ephraim and other Jews like him taking advantage of the situation of some Black people to make money. By doing so, they are buying out Black neighborhoods of Brooklyn for almost nothing and selling them to whites who do not want to live with blacks. At the rate the whites are going they may end up taken over most of Brooklyn from Black people. This is why we see so much crime and anger going on in the Black neighborhoods. Unfortunately, this is like one minority working against another. I think a lot of education needs to be done to inform the Black people about the lack of wisdom in giving up their properties for pennies

  3. anthonynedd

    In an article dated 5/12/15, Ephraim is a 26 year old developer and landlord, who is taking advantage of the rules and regulations put in place by our policy makers. He knows the ins and outs of the banking system pertaining to real estate as well as tenant and landlord laws and uses his knowledge to create a successful real estate empire. Unfortunately his not so informed victims get the short of the stick and just so happen to be black. “… my saying is — again, I’m not racist — every black person has a price”, shows that as Blacks we need to educate ourselves so that we are not robbed blind, ensuring that we don’t accept dimes for our diamonds. From this article, It is clear that nothing has changed systematically; only the date is different. From blacks being murdered by police without repercussions to the subsequent riots in various cities with headlines of burnings and lootings, we can easily assume we are in the 1950’s.

    When reflecting on historical FHA/Housing practices that promoted wealth disparities between racial groups, I ask, How much has changed? “”We’re not paying that much money to have black people live in the building.” If it’s white tenants only, it’s clean. I know it’s a little bit racist but it’s not. They’re the ones that are paying and I have to give them what they want. Or I’m not going to get the tenants and the money is not going to be what it is.””

    This excerpt shows that nothing has changed in this regard also. Property owned by Blacks are still seen as less desirable living areas and the areas have much lower property values as compared to predominantly white neighborhoods. The goal is still to move Blacks out of certain areas so that whites will move in and the cost of property and affluence of the areas will increase dramatically benefiting all but the blacks who are directly or indirectly forced out. When blacks attempt to move into these areas, buildings are not as desirable and the fear is still that whites will leave, taking their money with them, cause ruining to strong financial markets.

  4. Keila Gordon

    According to the article, clearly nothing has changed. It was so weird reading this article because my grandma is actually undergoing the process of selling her Bed-Stuy building. A young Jewish man in his 20’s purchased the building and bought out the tenants currently living there. Most of the tenants that live there are all Hispanic or African American. The man who purchased the building didn’t even offer the current tenants a chance to keep their apartments with higher rents. I didn’t really think of it being a race thing, i just figured the man wanted to start fresh with the building. Reading this article definitely made much more sense to me as to why Jewish investors like Ephraim want to be so involved with neighborhoods like Bushwick and Bed-Stuy. They take advantage of lower income people. Its pretty disgusting how ignorant and self centered people can be. Having a neighbor of different ethnicity does not minimize the wealth of property or a community. Any individual of any ethnicity can be dirty or a bad neighbor. That subjective does not only target one specific type of ethnicity. America is all about diversity coming together as one to form a beautiful and free country. If you are not okay with diversity, then you should not live in America. There needs to be better education on real-estate and how process of renting and owning works. People swindle their ways around people who are clueless as to what they are doing and it isn’t fair at all. Nothing really has changed considering Ephraim basically stated the value of rent income decreases by the number of “blacks” living there. It’s so sad to see that racism is still such a strong aspect in our lives.

  5. Isaac D. O

    Well according to the article nothing has changed the same old story of race, inequality and disparities in housing practices still persist today to some extent. In reality I believe there has been some changes in the housing policies and regulations and that things are not the same as it used to be in the past. For me the main issue I figured out from the Ephraim article is that Ephraim took advantage of Black people as a result of ignorance and lack of education on housing policies on the part of the black homeowners. They ignorantly sold their houses for dimes but later on realized their mistake. There is a need for better education on real-estate, renting and owning to enhance proper understanding and to avoid people like Ephraim who play trick on clueless individuals to manipulate them. The article exposed the menace and how far racism has gotten us even to the extent that rent value decrease by the present of blacks in an apartment. Some of us has gotten the advantage to be educated in this class about racism and its effect and the ways to reduce it, let us keep informing others and share ideas hopefully we can change this socially contracted prejudice ideas about race and create a conducive environment to make life worth living for all.

  6. A. Cynthia Parvinn

    After reading the article, “’I Put in White Tenants’: The Grim, Racist (and Likely Illegal) Methods of One Brooklyn Landlord” by DW Gibson, I was quite speechless. It was like reading the modern day transcripts of the third part of the film, Race: The Power of an Illusion. I suppose not much has changed from what it was like in Levittown and other cities across the country after the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) started assessing home/property values on the basis of race. Within the article, Ephraim mentioned that white tenants do not feel their high rents are justified if there are African American tenants in the buildings. The whole article, and how Ephraim makes money is centered on paying African Americans less then market value to move, then only to rent to white tenants at an inflated price. What is different in this Brooklyn neighborhood is that the white tenants are not moving out in fear of their property value diminishing – it is Ephraim who has pinpointed the way it has been historically and is moving out the African Americans in order to make higher profits from the whites. While historically, racially segregated neighborhoods were a result of the FHA’s property assessments – in this case, it is Ephraim that is creating the illusion, creating a false property assessment by doing some renovations. However, Ephraim did mention in the article the price difference for the same homes in East New York vs. Brooklyn, which only mirrors and explains the lasting effects of redlining districts. I am appalled that there are individuals such as Ephraim who prey and take advantage of humans in such a way. It is for people like Ephraim, and what he is doing that racism exists in such a magnitude in the Unite States today. (On a vengeful note: Ephraim won’t cut down fruit trees because of his belief to his religion, how does he think God will feel about his greed, deception, and profound racism?)

    I am saddened that white tenants to this day complain about living with African American tenants – if these white tenants are paying $2000+ for rent, they must have semi-decent careers, which would mean they have some formal education, and therefore have the comprehension skills to understand to a certain degree how their decision to live in an “all-white” building is racism. Furthermore, these white tenants are people in New York City, the most diverse metropolitan area in the world – how could they expect to live in an all-white building?

    After reading this article, the first thing I thought of was if there were any African American tenants living in my apartment building, which is one of the newer luxury apartment complexes in Long Island City. I asked my boyfriend if he’s seen any minorities here. In our two years of living here, (we were the first tenants to move in), neither my boyfriend nor I saw one single African American individual, let alone a tenant in the building. Together, we know that there are a few Asian tenants, one Arabic tenant, and including us, two South Asian tenants – the rest of the apartment complex, which has approximately 150 units, are occupied by white tenants. I now suspect our building management may also rent on the basis of race and if so I must get to the bottom of it. I have already told my boyfriend, we are moving out if that is the case, but only after I make a big ruckus and go door to door telling all the other tenants that they are propelling the act of racism by choosing to stay here – if that does end up being the case.


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