Gentrification in Crown Heights Forces Out Longtime Residents

“They are a living reminder of the challenges facing a city struggling to make room for all its current residents, and all the new ones to come: the people of an older Crown Heights, who cannot afford the new,” writes the New York Times in a profile on Crown Heights residents who were forced to move out due to rising rents associated with gentrification.

From the New York Times:

Like longtime tenants from San Francisco to Harlem, the African-Americans and West Indians who have made their homes for generations in this Brooklyn neighborhood are scattering, muscled out by surging rents and, tenant advocates say, landlords who harass tenants, withhold repairs or use evictions to make room for higher-income renters. Some move in with relatives. Some scrabble for a foothold in one of the city’s remaining cheap areas. And some give up on New York altogether.

“I would’ve stayed, of course. New York is my home. I love it,” said Kenlin Harris, 34, who left Crown Heights for Virginia after the rent rose and the rats multiplied at her apartment on Park Place. “But you look at it now, it’s like, O.K., actually, I can’t believe that we were living like that.”

The prosperity that is remaking New York City one neighborhood after another came to Crown Heights invisibly and then unmistakably — slowly, and then all at once.

In prewar apartments, glossy new kitchens are replacing tired old ones. Limestone fixer-uppers are commanding seven-figure prices. Cocktail bars are opening where fried chicken used to be sold from behind bulletproof glass. And the New Yorkers who lived there are drifting away, their former homes renovated to make way for white college graduates and young families.

Click here to continue reading at The New York Times.

34 Comments

  • 1. Avraham Yosef wrote:

    I was forced out of Crown Heights because rent, food and tuition grew to be more than my income. I don’t know how anyone with a fair size family can manage in Crown Heights anymore unless they are rich.

  • 2. Nechama wrote:

    This sounds good but is really not good for our neighborhood, or our community. We, too, are being bought out, and the rents have gone sky high. Young people cannot afford to live either – buy or rent – and are leaving in droves.

  • 4. DeClasse' Intellectual wrote:

    Why the gripping, this was coming and it was the hand writing on the wall years ago. It occurs in other cities as well, only no one attempted to stop it but just gave into this whole change because we got to live in this neighborhood no matter what.

  • 5. Kan Tziva wrote:

    The Rebbe told us Kan Tzivah Hashem es haBrocha.
    But we let all the hipsters take our apartments and homes away

  • 6. FED UP! wrote:

    LUBAVITHCER PEOPLE THAT SELL OR RENT TO NON CHASIDIM SHOULD BE BANNED FROM OUR YESHIVOS , ORGANIZATIONS, ETC.

    THIS IS AGAINST THE HARD WORK THAT THE REBBE AND MANY ANASH HAVE WORKED SO HARD TO TO KEEP CH FOR ANASH.

    ANYONE THAT SELLS OR RENTS TO NON ANASH THAIR NAMES SHOULD BE PUBLIC AND FOR ALL TO SEE .

    REMEMBER THE REBBE BLAIBED NIT A BAL CHOV !

    THIS IS NOT TOLERATED IN ANY OTHER FRUM SHCHUNA , AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED HERE.

    FOR A FEW DOLLARS IT ISNT WORTH GOING AGAINST THE REBBE !!!!

    • 7. Makes no sense wrote:

      A young growing family that buys a house at 1.3 million and has this tremendous monthly mortgage will of course be forced to rent a floor or 2 to yuppies, they’re the only ones that could afford such high rents! This typical young family rather buy the house than blow there hard earnedone on tremendous rent. The prices are so high that lubavitcher can’t afford to rent. It’s buy and rent to yuppies or get out!

    • 8. Landlord wrote:

      I used to make priority renting out to our community.
      Until a Jewish girl (Machon chan) who came to see the rental reported my property to the city and got me violations.

      Now I rent to the best paying smallest risk tenants.

  • 9. Milhouse wrote:

    It’s simple economics. When CH was a good place to live housing there was expensive, and poor people (including most Lubavitchers) could not afford to live there. That’s why most Lubavitchers lived in Brownsville and East New York and walked in on Shabbos. When the neighborhood went to pot the value of its housing went down, so poor people moved in. Now that it’s become good again the housing is worth more, and it makes sense that those who can’t afford such good housing should move out.

    From where do they get a right to live in luxury housing, any more than they have a right to drive a luxury car or eat in luxury restaurants? Who gave them such a right? Live within your means, and if that means moving then move. The neighborhood doesn’t “belong” to you just because you happened to grow up there. If you were used to eating at a cheap diner, and then the owner turned it into a fancy and expensive restaurant, would you expect to continue eating there at the same prices you used to pay?!

  • 11. FED UP! p/2 wrote:

    IF IM NOT MISTAKING THERE IS A SICHA FROM REBBE IN THE LATE 70S OR EARLY 80S , WHERE THE REBBE SPECIFICALLY CALLS OUT THE REALTORS WHO SAY “WHY IS IT MY FAULT ?EVERYONE IS DOING IT, AND IF I DONT SOMEONE ELSE WILL”….. TO WHICH THE REBBE SAYS – STILL YOU SHOULD NOT DO IT!!

    • 12. Milhouse wrote:

      On the contrary, the Rebbe spoke against people who were selling at low prices to undesirable elements, and driving property values down.

  • 13. a neighbor wrote:

    This is going on in Williamsburgh to, the realtors rather rent to the Yuppies because they pay what they want

  • 14. carroll wrote:

    we can thank our dear friends the sperlin brothers. they are building 122 apartments for yuppies. friends, act now, lets make a commitee to stop this. we are destroying our neighberhood.!!!!! there are plans for a bar on troy. what are we doing to our kids???? all for money.

  • 15. reality wrote:

    Reality is that business is business, and of course, for a $ 100 to 200 $ difference you chose who to rent to , or for 10.000$ 15.000 $ you chose who to sell to
    but don’t ask more than that, its unfair and not real
    there are not the realtors, the owners are the one who decide who are their tenants or buyers

  • 16. yid wrote:

    a satmar guy asked me if i think any Lubavitcher would care if he puts in goyim in one of his rentals in CH…

    in wily they dont allow it!

    I think CH.info should have a updated list of all those that rent/sell to goyim

    • 17. Jason wrote:

      Um. Not renting to someone because of race, ethnicity or religion is illegal…publicly shaming people who are actually following the law is your answer? Sad.

  • 18. Pedant wrote:

    The issues are systemic. There is nothing anyone can do, nor is there anyone to blame.

    Owning and renting housing constitute a permanence of presence (see yesterday’s rambam concerning selling land in EY to an Oived AZ). We are on the precipice of the redemption and will soon be leaving for EY. So our presence here is temporary, thus we don’t own land.

    The previous generation has houses. I know home aid workers and suit salesmen who are sitting (B”H) on a million dollar home and pulling in two rents plus their own personal saving. You had a job 70-80s you have a house now. Just the way it was. In Samarkand, friends of newlyweds pitched so that the couple could build a home.

    But the new generation doesn’t even hope to have that. This gentle state of homelessness is an aberration. It’s far too big a dynamic to pin on ‘greedy’ landlords.

    It’s for the best. This is golus and we are leaving. This isn’t our place.

  • 19. plenty for sale in zip codes 11203 wrote:

    There are plenty of nice houses for sale in and around the hospital area. There is a minyan in kingsbrook jewish with a nice shul. There are nice yidden with growing families moving there steadily. Some blocks already have a number of jewish families. Don’t knock it until you try it! Take a look around east 45 and blocks near there. Good luck and hope to see you all soon with a roof beneath your heads paying for your own house that you own.

  • 21. Resident wrote:

    WAKE UP!~!!!! What the Rabbis dont allow in williamsburg they are coming and doing here AT OUR CHILDREN AFN FUTURES EXPENSE! WE must stop these people. WE MUST STOP even OUR OWN Greedy landlords .

    CAlling all young people all the class shuls, LETS BAND TOGETHER!! All the condos around market place area are built by yoelis and israelis for YUPPIES! WE MUST MAKE DEMONSTRATIONS! ITS UP TO US . LETS GET A LEADER AND START

  • 22. Jay Sorid wrote:

    Mayor DiBlasio and City Planning are looking to add density by trying to pass the ZQA/MIH Zoning Amendments. This will be a benefit for real estate developers and will expand Manhattan into Crown Heights. CB 9 recenty voted this down but the City Council has the ultimate power to decide the issue this winter.

    In Community District 9, the upcoming amendment will remove parking requirements for affordable housing, senior housing and market-rate units by special permit from the Board of Standards and Appeals. Zoning protections restricting placement for nursing homes and health related facilities will be removed for R3-R10 zoning districts. (most of Crown Heights)

    The result will be Yids fighting for parking spots, and your kinderluch bicycling around homeless sex offenders and drug users while the parents are at work. To my PC friends, research 681 Clarkson Ave on the corner of Albany and Clarkson. Walk in and see the metal detectors, see the drug users loitering outside or go online and see the sex offenders living in there.

    The affordable housing that is being built, is for studio, 1 BR and 2 BR, hardly that for larger Jewish families. The increase of market rate apartments ( 4 or more market rate for every 1 affordable unit on mixed-income units) for yuppies will eventually push housing prices up and make buying a home more difficult for Jews.

    Start registering to vote in the democratic primary NOW or you will be taken for granted by the Democratic machine. (You can still vote in the General Election for whoever you like) Its public information on who voted, where they live and when, just not for whom ? Capiche ? The Democratic party only respects those who vote and the lists are available online.

    Jay Sorid
    CB 9 ULURP Committee Member
    ( This statement reflects the personal opinion of the writer and not that of the CB 9 ULURP committee or CB 9 )

  • 23. a neighbor wrote:

    #17
    The Satmars in Williamsburgh are renting to Yuppies to, my son works with a Satmar chosid and he told him that in Williamsburgh they just care about the money just like they do here

    • 24. Satmar vs Chabad wrote:

      Very few Satmars actually rent out to Yuppies and they are condemned by fellow members

      In Crown Heights – everyone does what they want especially after 3 Tammuz.

  • 25. dave wrote:

    Chassidim flushed Mi Hu Yehudi and Shlamos Haaretz down the toliet. HaShem strikes back with a vengence. First your kids fry out. Now you lose your neighborhood. You deserve it.

    • 26. meme wrote:

      #22
      If that’s the case through out history, people always wanted to destroy the jews , and it is still happening today, so are you saying that we deserved it,

  • 28. Young family wrote:

    That’s y we are moving it’s very expensive here there are allot of nice community out of NY Kingston pa cherry hill Nj monsey philly etc

  • 30. shlomo wrote:

    what that all mean after gimel tamuz???. chabad do not exist anymore. it’s agony. some groups make war with another, but true that it all about money

  • 31. YUPPEES wrote:

    If we show up to board meetings it might help out.
    The new YUPPEES are both a physical problem (high rent) and a spiritual problem.

  • 32. shlomo wrote:

    example of the day. it was chipper pay for $5.50 and travel to another Jewish neighborhood for Hanukkah set ,than buy in CH . sure nobody did, but it everyday experience. so who s guilty?

  • 33. SUPPLY AND DEMAND wrote:

    THE PROBLEM IS THAT

    1
    NYC ZONING RESTRICTS THE AMOUT OF UNITS THAT ARE ABLE TO BE CREATED……BY ZONING LAWS.

    2
    THERE IS A PLAN IN PLACE TO UPZONE CROWN HEIGHTS AND ERIC ADEMS IS LEADING THE CHARGE…

    PROBLEM IS THAT MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY ARE AGAINST UP ZONING BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT AFFECTED BY TYHE INCREASE IN RENT.

  • 34. Shlomo Farbregeinowitz wrote:

    It’s capitalism, period. This is America. There isn’t any binding law of the universe that Crown Heights is immune to standard principles of supply and demand.

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