September 14, 2002

New Harlem, Old Problems

[ From Newsday - Things Are Looking Uptown ] :

New housing, new stores and office buildings are replacing abandoned land -- vacant lots where buildings were torn down 30 years ago in the name of urban renewal -- and burned-out, boarded-up buildings that had become eyesores. Even the venerable Apollo Theater is being updated and plans to expand.

But along with the improvements have come complaints from community activists, politicians and small- business owners that some businesses and low-income residents are being forced out by skyrocketing rents.

But all is not well in the New Harlem:

"We have seen flight from below 96th Street. People are taking refuge above 125th Street because of 9/11," community activist Nellie Hester Bailey said. One result of all this, said Bailey, executive director of the Harlem Tenants Council, has been rents that no longer are affordable for long-time residents.

State Sen. David A. Paterson, a Democrat whose district includes Harlem, agreed. "I am going to be the first elected official to leave office because I can't afford to live in my own district," he said. "That's how high the rents have skyrocketed in Harlem."

Posted by ronn at September 14, 2002 02:34 PM

I am reading this post and wandering where were the powers to be while planning was taken place?What organizations are watching over the sick and elderly residents with low incomes who are afraid to speak up? Many live in apartments in dire need of repairs an paint. Grants need to be offered to tenant owned buildings and an appointed leader to advise and assist where needed. Posted by: BarbaraCollins on July 5, 2003 03:09 AM
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