East New York takes it on the chin

By Katherine Dykstra | February 24, 2009 06:06PM

From the February issue: This summer’s credit crisis and the subsequent housing implosion haven’t been good for anyone. But they’ve been especially hard on East New York, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Like the rest of the city, up until a couple of years ago, East New York was undergoing something of a building boom. The Bloomberg administration emphasized affordable housing and supported developers interested in revitalizing the area. Suddenly two-family houses began cropping up in infill spaces. Other developers became comfortable with the idea of investing in the area and so began buying up land and converting rentals to condos, and residents leapt at opportunities to buy. The Seaview Estates in the area, for example, sold out in two years with 10 price increases, according to Fillmore Real Estate’s Jean-Paul Ho. The problem was that unlike the rest of the city, much of this new housing stock was made available to residents via predatory lending. Thus, when the defaulting began, it hit East New York like a tidal wave.