Gentrification finally reaches longtime Bronx residents

Jul.July 09, 2017 04:00 PM
700 East 134th Street in Port Morris

700 East 134th Street in Port Morris

The South Bronx is already seeing major investment, and even more is coming. But for the longtime residents of tenement-like buildings, like the one at 700 East 134th Street in Port Morris, are bracing for massive rent hikes.

Many residents in the area do not have leases and pay around $1,000 a month for their apartments, according to the New York Times, but they could soon pay much more.

A microcosm of what is happening across the South Bronx, 700 East 134th Street — a 21-unit building comprised mostly of studios — sold for $4 million to an LLC. The previous owner filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Soon after, the LLC warned tenants to expect a rent increase of around $500 a month, tenants told the Times.

The new landlord insists that the building is market rate and that the owner is free to raise rents. However,  Stephanie Rudolph, a staff attorney with the Urban Justice Center, who reviewed details of the property for the Times, disagrees that the building was ever officially deregulated.

The question of stabilization at the building is under review with the state housing agency.

“In a moment where entire boroughs are no longer options, people are moving to the Bronx,” Susanna Blankley, the director of Community Action for Safe Apartments, a tenant-organizing group, told the Times. “People fear that we are facing displacement pressures like never before.” [NYT] — Christopher Cameron

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