The Times' Attack on Gentrification: Sloppy, Sloppy, Sloppy

MLewyn's picture

In a recent article entitled "Gentrifying Into the Shelters", the New York Times blamed homelessness on middle-class New Yorkers who dare to move into the city's poorer neighborhoods.  The article focused on Bedford-Stuyvestant in Brooklyn, noting that this neighborhood "has ranked among the city’s top five communities sending families into the shelter system."   The obvious implication of this claim is that gentrifying neighborhoods are "sending families into the shelter system."

This claim would have more weight if the other four "top communities sending families into the shelter system" were also gentrifying neighborhoods.  But according to the survey cited by the Times, the other neighborhoods in the top five were not gentrifying areas like Bushwick and Williamsburg.  

Instead, they were East New York (one of the poorest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and one at the borough's eastern edge, far from gentrification), and three neighborhoods in the decidedly non-gentrifying south and central Bronx (Highbridge, Fordham and Parkchester).  According to, three of these four areas have lower rents than either Bedford-Stuyvestant or the citywide average, and the lone exception (Parkchester) is in the north central Bronx, far from gentrifying areas in Manhattan. 

Ironically. the Times story ends by asserting "how important economic diversity is to the health of neighborhoods."  But if middle-class people are moving into poorer areas, isn't that "economic diversity"? 


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