“All Bad?” Gentrification vs Affordability in NYC

In the Spotlight
A recent feature published in New York Magazine proposes that gentrification does not have to be something that is truly  all that bad. The feature explores the potential that gentrification stands to hold in relation to improving the safety and economic prosperity of neighborhoods that have been plagued by widespread crime and economic hardships.
While the article emphasizes the potential pros of gentrification, while not entirely ignoring its cons, it fails to highlight the specific challenges McSilverType3of some neighborhoods in New York City. According to the Department of Homeless Services,  for the past seven years Bedford-Stuyvesant has ranked amongst the top five communities that are displacing families and sending them into the shelter system. The increasing numbers of homeless families has brought into question the legitimacy of the argument that gentrification truly benefits poor communities.
The ever changing composition of historically poor neighborhoods has highlighted even further the stark economic inequalities felt across the city. In some neighborhoods one can walk just a few steps and find themselves standing in front of the home of someone living in abject poverty, to the home of a family living in noteable wealth.

Direct Service Implications

Homelessness continues to be a pervasive problem across New York City. For direct service providers the challenges of securing housing for the homeless is becoming increasingly difficult given the real estate market and demand for space in the city. Providers can expect to continue to be met with complex challenges regarding placing clients in housing.
Providers must continue to remain informed and engaged in the discourse surrounding homelessness. In order for the city to begin to truly address these issues, the providers who directly serve those in need of services may be the best to inform policy related to correcting these specific  problems. Some resources that may help providers to start to become engaged in combating housing issues in New York City include, the Coalition for the HomelessInstitute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness, and the New York City Department of Homeless Services.
For more on New York City’s unique real estate market please see our NYC/NYS section.

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