When explaining how they’re planning on jacking up rents and running longtime residents of a building or neighborhood out of the place, some landlords hide behind the bloodless language of real estate acquisitions (“on the cusp of a major influx of white-collar residents…Most of the building’s units are rent-stabilized, and HLC plans to slowly renovate the entire building”). Sometimes they just neglect to include those longtime residents from their gleaming new plans for an area. But sometimes, like in the case of a Brooklyn landlord talking to a reporter from New York Magazine about his treatment of poor, black tenants, they just come out and say they fuck with and pay off black tenants because there’s money in it for them.
The whole read on the “grim, racist” way the anonymous Brooklyn landlord has gotten ahead in Bushwick, Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights is worth a read. Maybe you just need an afternoon rage pick-me-up, so here’s our landlord, “Ephraim” explaining his philosophy of buying off black tenants:
My saying is — again, I’m not racist — every black person has a price. The average price for a black person here in Bed-Stuy is $30,000 dollars. Up over there in East New York, it’s $10,000 dollars. Everyone wants them to leave, not because we don’t like them, it’s just they’re messing up — they bring everything down. Not all of them.
There’s more, much more awful and surprisingly candid quotes about how this developer and landlord makes his money by replacing black tenants with white ones, but it’s worth noting that he apparently also has tenants who scream bloody murder if a white person moves in with a black roommate and complain to him that ““We’re not paying that much money to have black people live in the building.”’ So really no one looks good in this story. This, by the way, is why the City Council is trying to ban landlords from harassing tenants over and over again until they finally take a payment and go away.