Today's article on real estate in Crown Heights - Page 2 — Brooklynian

Today's article on real estate in Crown Heights

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  • edited October 2016
    Today's piece is in the Guardian.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/cities/2016/oct/03/last-battle-brooklyn-new-york-americas-most-unaffordable-place-buy-home?client=safari

    Reminds me of the articles that were written about the Lower East Side in the 1990s. "If we all join together we can put a stop to this"

    ...um, things would also be a lot different if the sun came up in the west...
  • The usual suspects get singled out as the perps. No mention made of long time homeowners selling and retiring or estate sales of homes. Always a conspiracy with these reporters.
  • edited October 2016
    Flatfix said:
    The usual suspects get singled out as the perps. No mention made of long time homeowners selling and retiring or estate sales of homes. Always a conspiracy with these reporters.
    The existence of one does not negate the other. 

    The article is also focusing on tenants as opposed to home owners, which is logical for a city that is comprised mostly of renters.
  • "Social cleansing"
    "The Great War against gentrification"
    "Crosshairs in crown heights"
    "Last line of defense"

    I found the use of such language against people who pay market rate and landlords who want these renters people pay market rate really upsetting. Paying below rate and living in rent regulated apartments is something the government grants to help those in need with the hope they use the opportunity to help themselves. Or it and they should.


    Living in this country's most expensive real estate is not a god given right. It's a privilege and one granted to those who can't afford it so they can use it to raise themselves. This idea that they're waging a war against those who pay the taxes that pay their rent is so absurd.

  • Preach Marco555
  • So we're just assuming that people who want more affordable rent don't pay their taxes or their rent?

    ok cool.
  • So we're just assuming that people who want more affordable rent don't pay their taxes or their rent?

    ok cool.

    No such assumption was made.
    Rather, I am stating that the taxes residents with subsidized rent and welfare pay do not cover the subsidies they receive.
  • edited October 2016
    There's a lot to be said about reporters writing reports based only on the input of a limited number of interviews.  If this were a reporter for the NY Times for example writing this, there would be interviews with the developers mentioned in the piece, along with a response from the Mayor's office who is mentioned several times and perhaps a look at the often-referenced neighborhoods of Williamsburgh and Bushwick.  
    As we know, South Williamsburgh has seen almost zero gentrification because it is 100% controlled by the Satmar sect and various Hispanic groups.  North Williamsburgh was mostly warehouses until recently, so much less displacement occurred there.  Similarly Bushwick has a lot of manufacturing lofts that were unpopulated but are now being converted to upscale residential.
    Crown Heights on the other hand, is almost entirely residential.  Because of historic redlining, banks would not lend in Crown Heights for decades.  Many of the apartments were largely neglected for 40-50 years.  Clearly no one wants to live in an apartment like the one Jackie Gleason lived in on the Honeymooners (sorry if those under 60 don't know this reference - Google it).  
    So many of apartments need extensive renovation to meet modern building codes or to just be nice places to live.
    Where will the money for these renovations come from?  If the apartments are to remain affordable, then subsidies will be required.  The Federal government has largely dropped out of housing production since the 70's. New York State likewise contributes less and less each year.
    When all of the protesters go home at night, nothing will change unless we are able to answer these questions.
  • edited October 2016
    Marco555 said:
    So we're just assuming that people who want more affordable rent don't pay their taxes or their rent?

    ok cool.
    No such assumption was made. Rather, I am stating that the taxes residents with subsidized rent and welfare pay do not cover the subsidies they receive.
    Who are people with "subsidized rent"?
  • There's a lot to be said about reporters writing reports based only on the input of a limited number of interviews.  If this were a reporter for the NY Times for example writing this, there would be interviews with the developers mentioned in the piece, along with a response from the Mayor's office who is mentioned several times and perhaps a look at the often-referenced neighborhoods of Williamsburgh and Bushwick.  
    As we know, South Williamsburgh has seen almost zero gentrification because it is 100% controlled by the Satmar sect and various Hispanic groups. 
    How were the "various Hispanic groups" able to stave of gentrification in Willaimsburgh when the same couldn't be done in Bushwick? (By the way, Gothamist recently ran excerpts about gentrification in Bushwick; they're a good read.)
  • Marco555 said:
    "Social cleansing" "The Great War against gentrification" "Crosshairs in crown heights" "Last line of defense" I found the use of such language against people who pay market rate and landlords who want these renters people pay market rate really upsetting. Paying below rate and living in rent regulated apartments is something the government grants to help those in need with the hope they use the opportunity to help themselves. Or it and they should. Living in this country's most expensive real estate is not a god given right. It's a privilege and one granted to those who can't afford it so they can use it to raise themselves. This idea that they're waging a war against those who pay the taxes that pay their rent is so absurd.
    Rent regulation actually started on the federal level and this was why:

    "In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Price Control Act into law. The goal of the act was to prevent inflation in the booming, fully employed wartime economy by setting price controls nationwide. "

    It was to protect citizens from price gouging. 
  • Lately, I have been watching how activists react when neighborhoods that are not predominantly black are gentrified by predominantly young white people.

    With the exception of San Francisco's Mission District, the process seems to move a little slower.
  • @Mug
    Nixon put wage and price controls into effect back in 1971 also and it didn't do anything to control inflation or gouging because people just found a way around it. When Ed Koch was in office he kept his rent controlled apartment in the Village because he said he was only living in Gracie Mansion temporarily and Charles Rangle had two or three of them illegally before he was found out so sometimes a few bad apples make all rent controlled renters look bad.
  • Lately, I have been watching how activists react when neighborhoods that are not predominantly black are gentrified by predominantly young white people.

    With the exception of San Francisco's Mission District, the process seems to move a little slower.

    Interesting. The opposite is true in Chicago. Efforts by the government to "gentrify" predominately black neighborhoods am, such as bronzeville, fell flat as predominately Hispanic areas blossomed with "young white people."


    While rent control might have been put in place to prevent price gouging, it has also placed severe limitations on housing availability which in turn incentivizes price gouging for whatever housing is available On the market. NYC and San Francisco are fantastic examples.
  • @Mug
    Nixon put wage and price controls into effect back in 1971 also and it didn't do anything to control inflation or gouging because people just found a way around it. When Ed Koch was in office he kept his rent controlled apartment in the Village because he said he was only living in Gracie Mansion temporarily and Charles Rangle had two or three of them illegally before he was found out so sometimes a few bad apples make all rent controlled renters look bad.
    Well, Ed Koch wasn't lying; he wasn't in Gracie Mansion permanently. Lol (On another note, I didn't see why it would have been a big deal if deBlasio had stayed in his house in Brooklyn.)

    I dunno how Charlie Rangel managed to get multiple rent regulated apartments. However, I'm not convinced that these examples 1. represent the norm (as opposed to being exceptions) and 2. are sufficient reason to justify jettisoning rent regulation all together.


  • While rent control might have been put in place to prevent price gouging, it has also placed severe limitations on housing availability which in turn incentivizes price gouging for whatever housing is available On the market. NYC and San Francisco are fantastic examples.
    So, did Mitchell Lama severely help limit the amount of housing available?
  • @Mug
    I didn't say that rent control should be jettisoned. I meant that when you have a few bad apples landlords get suspicious of everyone and try to take advantage. But, on the other hand, since NYC finds it so expensive to run a shelter maybe they get a little taste of how many landlords are just scraping by. I have a bunch of them who are my clients and they're not doing all that well because if one person doesn't pay the rent it's the difference between being able to pay the bills and not being able to.
  • Just to be clear: rent control and rent regulation are two Very different animals. The first is an albatross the second is most often fair.
  • edited October 2016
    In the present economy, living in either often means a decrepit apartment.

    The new rent stabilized apartments created as a result of 80/20 programs are an exception, they tend to be pretty nice and involve a landlord that has no incentive to get the RS tenants out or not maintain the units.
  • They're pretty nice because they're new. Like anything (except for wine), when it ages they may not be so wonderful.
  • The landlord can neglect the RS 20%, but is unlikely to let the common areas fall into disrepair, because they don't want to lose the support of the market rate 80%.
  • While the properties in this article aren't in Crown Heights per se, they are in adjacent neighborhoods (like PLG and Bed-Stuy).


    The former shelter residents were left over from when the buildings were used as "cluster sites". The tenants are new residents to the building. 
  • Wow. That's horrible.
  • Imagine moving into a building a having your neighbors immediately knock on your door while holding a large orange extension cord and asking if they can have some of your electricity.

    Good times
  • Author of article must not have done on the ground research.  Owl & Thistle is referenced under shopping section.  Didn't it close recently?
  • yup.

    Many of these articles are written by simply reading other articles and then republishing them under one's own name.
  • Because the article is dated January 2016
  • That would do it too :)
  • Tiresome article relying heavily on stats but not research of details. That catch word Gentrification is tossed about like we all agree what it means. She starts by stating wrongly that Crown Hts was not diverse a century ago but only occupied by Jews and Carribians. Doesn't look that way to me in the old photos at the historic society. Is she suggesting people should never move from the neighborhood they were born in? Or if they do move who is going to regulate who is allowed into that apt.?
  • The language in that piece is shockingly close to what internet trolls have to say about immigrants coming to the US. The “plague” of newcomers changing the culture and economy to the detriminent of long-term natives... It’s the same ignorant nonsense about the threat of outsiders, only wrapped in the cloak of social justice rather than xenophobia. Places change. We should make sure the poor and elderly are taken care of, and there IS great value for new and long-term residents alike in getting to know their neighbors. That shouldn’t get lost. But there’s nothing righteous about wanting to ensure some kind of cultural and economic stagnation in the most diverse and ever-evolving city on the planet. Unless you live in a forest hut and trade in wampum and beaver furs, congratulations, you are an active participant in changing the culture of the land we now call New York City.
  • yes, everyone plays a role, even those who swear they don't and/or really wish they were not: politicians, activists, store owners, home owners, renters, home buyers, small businesses, etc.
  • edited February 16
    Dawndew said:
    TShe starts by stating wrongly that Crown Hts was not diverse a century ago but only occupied by Jews and Carribians. Doesn't look that way to me in the old photos at the historic society.

    You forgot about blacks who came up north in The Great Migration:

    "Over the past century, Crown Heights has been a neighborhood that includes communities of Hasidic Jews, African-Americans who migrated from the South and Caribbean immigrants."

    Is she suggesting people should never move from the neighborhood they were born in?
    Sounds good to me. (Tongue planted firmly in cheek) Then again, I was raised here.

    Or if they do move who is going to regulate who is allowed into that apt.?
    Rent regulations, if those units are subject to those rules, would "regulate" who is allowed into that apartment, no?
  • edited February 16
    monobo said:
    The language in that piece is shockingly close to what internet trolls have to say about immigrants coming to the US. The “plague” of newcomers changing the culture and economy to the detriminent of long-term natives... It’s the same ignorant nonsense about the threat of outsiders, only wrapped in the cloak of social justice rather than xenophobia. Places change. We should make sure the poor and elderly are taken care of, and there IS great value for new and long-term residents alike in getting to know their neighbors. That shouldn’t get lost.

    Ideally both things should happen, but not as much as it could or should. #justsaying

  • I also find it interesting that some are jumping on the vilification of gentrification but not addressing this issue:

    But researchers are just beginning to consider how gentrification ― the process by which working class neighborhoods are infiltrated by upwardly mobile newcomers, whose presence prompts rent rises, as well as cultural, social and political changes ― could damage longtime residents’ most fundamental asset: their health.

    It can be an interesting thing to research; health disparities do exist. If gentrification can improve an neighborhood, will it improve health outcomes for its residents as well?

  • I find the use of the word "infiltrated" somewhat disturbing. Has a very negative connotation to it. Years ago when minorities moved into white areas it was called block busting so is this reverse trend now called "infiltration?"
  • I think nativism is something that is inherent to humanity. ...it isn't going away.
  • edited February 17
    I find the use of the word "infiltrated" somewhat disturbing. Has a very negative connotation to it. Years ago when minorities moved into white areas it was called block busting so is this reverse trend now called "infiltration?"

    This link contains a precise definition of block busting: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/blockbusting.html

    Block busting was a tactic used to scare people out of a neighborhood, and prompting them to sell for below market value. That’s not really what is going on here.

  • Here's the definition of Nativism I am using: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nativism_(politics) While it is usually associated with the Right, the present day Left will embrace it if they believe that doing so helps a less powerful (oppressed) group. ...they will just call it something else.
  • Nice article whynot_31, thanks! "Experiments and evidence dating back generations, in psychology, sociology and anthropology, have established firmly that human opinions and emotions, loyalties and affiliations, religions and customs, and even perceptions are shaped by our need to belong to a group — and by our proclivity to hate rival groups. " we need to de-tribalize!
  • We certainly do. ...however, if we could do it peacefully, that would be nice. :)
  • edited March 19
    Flatfix said:
    Nice article whynot_31, thanks! "Experiments and evidence dating back generations, in psychology, sociology and anthropology, have established firmly that human opinions and emotions, loyalties and affiliations, religions and customs, and even perceptions are shaped by our need to belong to a group — and by our proclivity to hate rival groups. " we need to de-tribalize!
    That sounds all fine and dandy...until someone does or says something that indicates that vestiges of tribalism dies hard. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • For the right price, many people are willing to leave their tribe.
This discussion has been closed.