Is Hovi Hov REALLY looking out for the best interest of the people in his beloved borough???
Hip city neighborhoods attracting young 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 it isn’t all good in these hoods.
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.
The re-development of neighborhoods usually comes with a spike in the price of goods and services of surrounding businesses.
Do or Dine, a Michelin rated foodie hotspot on Bedford Avenue boasts meals like $20 “Chicken and Woffals,” a Cornish game hen on top of sour cream waffles.
“Everyone wants to eat good food,” said owner Justin Warner, 28, acknowledging many of his neighbors can’t afford the menu.
That includes single parent Eliana Luciano, 29, who lives across the street from Do or Dine and 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.
We know that Jay wants to bring prosperity back to BK, but at what cost? Should he have reconsidered this particular business venture?