East New York Housing Roundup

Life is hard enough, then you need to find a place to live… Two tales from East New York’s housing scene, and one interesting vision of the future.  

Meet Garfield Gilling.  He bought a fixer-upper in Brownsville back in the 80’s for the low, low price of $2,500.  He did his thing and fixed the property up, and then in what he rightly calls a “perfect storm of corruption”, lost his property to such reputable firms like Beef Patty Breath and Boo Boo Realty.  People went to jail over this, but Garfield’s still out a home.  Read all about it here.

We’re kind of allergic to the NY Post and really all things Fox and/or Rupert Murdoch.  (Unless we’re talking about The Simpsons).  Anyway, here’s a story about boarding houses operating under the radar in East New York.  These unlicensed places seem to specialize in housing marginalized populations like recent parolees, psychiatric out-patients, and the formerly homeless getting back on their feet.  We think there is a need to provide ample services to all members of our communities, but warehousing them in places run by a someone who says stuff like:

“Every person in this community knows someone who’s a crackhead or was incarcerated,” [the manager of one boarding house] added. “Sooner or later, the same people who are complaining are going to require my services.”

Is just a little insulting, and ill serves both our communities and the very people they’re trying to help.  What do you think?

Now, I really don’t think of living in East New York as “Living on the Edge”, but hey the article does raise some very interesting points… namely:

  • The demographic shift of the area, but how our neighborhood still attracts immigrants
  • How our recently arrived neighbors continually add to the cultural life of East New York
  • That even with the L Train keeping Manhattan close, we’re more about “corrections officers and the health workers and the city workers” than it is about stock brokers and artists.
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