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Study Finds Bronx Residents Most In Danger Of Housing Displacement Due To Gentrification

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A new report from the Regional Plan Association finds that residents of Bronx are at highest risk of being pushed out due to gentrification compared to other New Yorkers.

The report, titled “Pushed Out: Housing Displacement in an Unaffordable Region,” looks at the effect of rising housing costs in New York City and addresses what it names “A Crisis of Affordability.” The report found the threat of being pushed out due to lack of affordable housing was a threat in 71 percent of census tracts in Bronx. Following in displacement risk was Brooklyn at 55 percent, Manhattan and Queens at 31 percent each and Staten Island at 15 percent.

The report looked at factors such as economic vulnerability and area market activity when assessing risk; on an even more micro level, Bronx neighborhoods that were at highest risk were the ones from Port Morris to Norwood while areas on the borough’s eastern and western edges–Riverdale, for example–were considered more secure.

In a related finding, the borough also had the highest concentration of rent-burdened households, defined as paying more than 30 percent of household income in rent, at 56 percent of households, and the highest percentage of households earning less than $25,000.

The report found that recent population growth in Bronx has been largely happening among people making less than $50,000 annually, though its “large amount of walkable, job-accessible neighborhoods,” could soon be attracting more well-off residents. For now, though, according to RPA New York Director Pierina Sanchez, “A lot of Bronx is where lower income people in the city are still going to be able to remain in the city.”

What that seems to mean, in effect, is that residents being “pushed out” of other boroughs due to lack of affordable housing are ending up in Bronx, but that it might not be a safe haven for long.

Other key findings:

According to the report, proportionately lower-income residents throughout the city still live in pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods with easy access to jobs, but they’re being replaced by wealthier ones, and they have few options when housing costs rise.

The study also found that at-risk areas have a higher proportion of black and Hispanic residents than the rest of the county.

Many of of those neighborhoods are seeing a shift to more expensive housing.

Displacement risk is a problem that plagues the entire region, not just the urban areas of New York City.

The report goes on to suggest ways to help limit displacement, such as strengthening laws that limit rent hikes, using vacant government-owned land for low-income housing and obtaining more funding for programs that assist low-income people with rent.

 

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