Report details the gentrification of Bed-Stuy
by Patrick Kearns
Sep 19, 2017 | 2342 views | 0 0 comments | 119 119 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A new report from the State Comptroller’s office finds that Bedford-Stuyvesant is a neighborhood on the rise.

Many of the community’s long time residents aren’t benefiting from that growth, however, which is a challenge that elected and local officials are fighting to address.

“We all have our own views when we live in a neighborhood of what’s happening,” said Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said. “Sometimes helpful to have a report that takes together and analyzes all of the data that’s out there.”

The report found that violent crime has decreased by 44 percent, but the crime rate in Bed-Stuy remains higher than the rest of the city.

Meanwhile, the population of Bed-Stuy has grown by 25 percent, which is three times faster than the citywide growth, bringing the total population to over 150,000.

“The report shows that the neighborhood, and we all know this and I think the numbers validate it, is undergoing an economic expansion,” said DiNapoli.

According to the report, the number of jobs in Bed-Stuy has increased by 45 percent since the end of the recession in 2009, to 17,000 total jobs in 2016.

Since 2000, the number of businesses has increased by 73 percent, the fourth fastest rate of growth among New York City’s neighborhoods.

But while the neighborhood has a whole has seen the tremendous economic growth, it’s not reaching all members of the community.

“Income, educational and employment disparities exist between new residents and longterm residents,” DiNapoli said.

In 2015, the report found that newer households, people who have moved there in teh last four years, reported median incomes of about $50,000, while longtime residents, or people who have lived there for over ten years, reported a median income of about $28,000.

Less than one-fifth of long-term residents had a bachelor’s degree, compared to nearly half of all new residents. The unemployment rate for long-term residents was nearly twice the rate of newer residents.

That separation has lead to rapid gentrification.

Even with two-thirds of all apartments being either public housing or rent stabilized, the median rents rose 77 percent from 2005 to 2015. Home sales rose more than twice as fast as Brooklyn as a whole.

The neighborhood also faces a number of public health challenges. According to the Department of Health, of the 59 community districts in New York City, Bed-Stuy ranks in the top 10 for smoking, diabetes, new HIV diagnoses, obesity, alcohol hospitalizations and adult hospitalizations for asthma.

Dr. Melony Samuels, founder and executive director of Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, has seen a lot of progress on the public health front, but acknowledged there’s more work to be done.

“Progress is great and we're excited about what’s happening in Bed Stuy,” she said, “but we cannot ignore those that are less fortunate.”

One of the ways to address wealth inequality, according to Councilman RobertCornegy, is for the city to continue to take its commitment to the Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program seriously.

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