Photo Caption: Bedford-Stuyvesant mom Eliana Luciano, 29, with her daughter Katherine, 6.

Child Poverty Climbs To Nearly 50% In Gentrified Neighborhoods In NYC

New York City neighborhoods attracting affluent new residents are also home to a more troubling trend - increasing child poverty.

East Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant scored high on the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York’s new ranking of the Big Apple’s poorest communities.

Pockets of extreme poverty persist in the city, even in neighborhoods that are often thought to be improving economically,” said CCC executive director Jennifer March-Joly.

Along strips like Bedford Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Lexington Ave. in East Harlem, wine bars, restaurants and chic boutiques have sprung up in recent years.

But the neighborhoods also have pockets of growing poverty, CCC found.

Since the recession began in 2008, the numbers of children living in poverty in East Harlem jumped from 31.6 percent to 44.2 percent in 2010.

In Bedford Stuyvestant, where the white population jumped 600% since 2000, the number of kids living in poverty increased from 39.6 percent in 2008 to 47 percent.

Median income for both neighborhoods was also surpringly low : Families with children under 18 in both East Harlem and Bedford Stuyvesant earned about $28,000 in 2010 - compared to the citywide average of about $61,000.

You have young whites moving in,and minorities moving out. What is left behind are people who can’t afford to move out,” said CUNY graduate center sociologist Richard Alba.

Single parent Eliana Luciano, 29, is about to lose her $1,070 one-bedroom apartment she shares with her daughter Katherine, 6 and elderly mom.

I can’t afford my rent,” said Luciano who makes $7.60 an hour working at CVS. “It’s hard. You can’t find a decent job.”

Richard Toxe, a father of four who works as a nursing assistant, lives in Metro Plaza Houses on First Avenue in East Harlem, sandwiched between two new pricy luxury buildings with amenities like a shuttle bus and a white-gloved doorman.

These buildings affected everything,” said Toxe complaining he has to travel uptown to buy milk and meat because his local Associated supermarket raised its prices.

NYPD Stalks, Harass And Monitors Youth To Dissuade Them From Committing Crimes

It’s like Father Connoly’s attempts to keep kids on the straight and narrow, but with fake Facebook accounts of hot teen chicks. The New York Times reports on an innovative (and highly invasive) program to keep kids who’ve been arrested from committing robbery.

The involuntary NYPD program called Juvenile Robbery Intervention Program (JRIP) targets youth (almost exclusively minorities living in housing) and subjects them to continual harassment at their school, home and in the streets and monitors their every move online with fake profiles:

Officers not only make repeated drop-ins at homes and schools, but they also drive up to the teenagers in the streets, shouting out hellos, in front of their friends. The force’s Intelligence Division also deciphers each teenager’s street name and gang affiliation. Detectives compile a binder on each teenager that includes photos from Facebook and arrest photos of the teenager’s associates, not unlike the flow charts generated by law enforcement officials to track organized crime.

Detectives spend hours, day and night, monitoring the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts of teenagers in the program, known as the Juvenile Robbery Intervention Program, or J-RIP, and of their criminal associates. To do so, detectives create a dummy Facebook page — perhaps employing a fake profile of an attractive teenage girl — and send out “friend requests” as bait to get beyond the social network’s privacy settings.

Joanne Jaffe, the department’s Housing Bureau chief, commented on the program saying, “We are coming to find you and monitor every step you take”. “And we are going to learn about every bad friend you have. And you’re going to get alienated from those friends because we are going to be all over you.” Talk about creepy…

The program was started in 2007 in Brownsville, known as the highest concentration of low income public housing development in the North America and the worst neighborhood in New York City. In 2009, the program was expanded to East Harlem, the second highest concentration of public housing in the nation, closely following Brownsville. Both Brownsville and East Harlem are largely black and Latino, making over 85% of the population in each neighborhood, meaning JRIP disproportionately targets minorities who live in public housing and subjects them to continual harassment by the NYPD who claim to be practicing tough love.


East Harlem, NY

5 small business closed in just 30 days on 104th Street and Lexington avenue.

The building of “Glass Spire” (1635 Lexington ave) a luxury condo just across the street. Did not displace one tenant.

But the economic pressure caused by the luxury condo, where apartments are being sold from 500k to  1.1 million, has a ripple effect on the the tenants around it. That economic pressure entices landlords to raise rents to profit off new luxury clientele and leaves many long time small businesses out in the cold. 

Gentrification can take 30 or more years, but in just 30 days, a total of: 
2 Barbershops, 2 discount stores and a Botanica. 
Were forced to find new homes…. 

NYC Buildings Inspector Threatens East Harlem Residents for Reporting Unsafe Conditions at Luxury Development Site

Sometimes you gotta teach people a lesson”

NYC Department of Buildings Inspector (Dabusco) 

For months, residents like Eugene Rodriguez & Laurena Torres have been complaining about unsafe conditions at HAP Investments 329 Pleasant avenue luxury development site. On September 17th 2014, construction was halted, after they and others, reported unsafe conditions to the NYC Department of Buildings. 

That afternoon, the DOB inspector called to the scene, spoke with El Barrio Tours outside HAP’s 329 Pleasant avenue site… 

DOB Inspector (Dabusco): “The property owner is in complacence, 100% compliance. They’ve done everything we’ve asked but this woman keeps calling and complaining, I’m about to slap her with a 10 thousand dollar fine for harassment. She can’t keep abusing the property owner like that! You care that much? To spend your week out here looking out your window? Get a job!

EBT: “Aren’t you here to ensure the saftey of the site? Isn’t that your job?”

DOB Inspector (Dabusco): “Yeah, but this guy has his permits all in order, he’s done everything we’ve asked. These people keep complaining and I’m like, that’s not your business over there!”

EBT: “So your saying they’re complaining for no reason?”

DOB Inspector (Dabusco): “Look, I just kicked out 6 families from another site. This guy kept complaining and complaining the building was shaking and moving. I said it’s shaking? Good. Boom! Vacate! Now your all out. I came back and his wife was slapping him in the street. He never called back. What goes around comes around. But when it comes around, it comes back 10 times harder. Sometimes you gotta teach people a lesson.”

Work resumed the next day, and continued until the damage to Laurena Torres and Eugene Rodriguez property got so bad, it made it into DNA Info & the Daily News earlier this week. A partial stop work order has been issued as of October 29th, 2014. The DOB has has now ordered the developer to brace the walls of the properties they’ve damaged around 329 Pleasant Avenue. 

HAP Investments has spent $100 million on six East Harlem properties and is no stranger to dangerous work sites: (Here)