Gentrification is New York’s white whale, and no amount of low-stakes ukulele songs about the issue are going to rein it in. Trying to determine who’s actually “part of the problem” is so 2015. Anti-gentrification sentiments are better put towards neighborhood engagement and community organizing to fight the thing, both of which are newly made easier with this ^^^ handy interactive gentrification map.
The Displacement Project Alert Map, a project of the Association for Neighborhoods and Housing Development (ANHD), lets you see where gentrification is doing its worst in the city. It’s web-based, so it updates frequently. You can search the map by council districts, community boards or zip codes. Buildings are colored along a gradual spectrum ranging from pale yellow to dark red, the darker colored buildings indicating a higher risk of its tenants facing displacement.
The ANHD’s analysis of risk is determined by three factors:
Loss of rent-regulated units in the building
Volume of NYC Department of Buildings permits that indicate a high rate of tenant turnover
Level of building sales prices that indicate speculative building purchases
A combined score of these indicators represents the vulnerability of a given building and its tenants. According to the map’s website, this data is meant to be used as “a strategic tool for tenant organizing and neighborhood and city-wide housing advocacy.”
The results are unsurprisingly grim, but offer insight into how neighborhoods are changing or have already changed. Williamsburg, for example, has incredibly high tenant turnover but no speculation risk, presumably because most buildings have already been renovated and re-rented at luxury rates. Prospect Heights and Park Slope residents are at high risk for loss of rent-stabilized units. Bed-Stuy’s speculation risk is extremely high.
So, how about that tenant organizing? The Crown Heights Tenant Union, an organization made up of over 40 buildings in the neighborhood demanding fair leases, rights for repairs and even fair buyout rates, is one of the first of its kind in Brooklyn, but it certainly shouldn’t be the last. If this map shows you that some of your neighbors are facing displacement (they probably are), then start organizing! Take advantage of tenant resources, read up on updated rent regulations, make a short about what’s going on. Whatever your talents, be they creative or administrative or social, they can certainly lend themselves to the cause.
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