SITU Studio mapped the geographic spread of illegally subdivided, high-density dwellings across New York City based on complaints to the Department of Buildings. / Courtesy of Fastcodesign.com
SITU Studio mapped the geographic spread of illegally subdivided, high-density dwellings across New York City based on complaints to the Department of Buildings. / Courtesy of Fastcodesign.com

As the borough with the highest population that is rent-burdened, this new exhibition focusing on illegal dwellings which otherwise would be known as slums in other parts of the world, is all too common in The Bronx.  Based on the maps, the areas in The Bronx with the highest concentration of such dwellings appear to be located in Longwood and Soundview then rippling out towards Parkchester, Van Nest, Williamsbridge Morris Park, Belmont, Fordham, Morris Heights, University Heights along with pockets in Wakefield, Eastchester, and Baychester.

While working in the Real Estate Appraisal industry, I saw first hand how many of these homes were illegally subdivided by owners not out of pure greed but simply by trying to make ends meet and trying to achieve that American Dream.

Shaunacy Ferro, the author of the article explains:

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“…SITU Studio, a Brooklyn-based design studio, mapped the geographic spread of these illegally subdivided, high-density dwellings across New York City—places that in other metropolitan areas, like Mumbai or Rio de Janeiro, would be considered slums. “In New York City, you have slums, but they’re not visible,” Basar Girit, a partner at SITU Studio, tells Co.Design.

“It’s no secret that New York is an expensive place to live. Luxury condos proliferate, but affordable housing does not. More than half the renters in the city are considered rent-burdened, meaning paying more than a third of their monthly wages just for housing.

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That means for the city’s poorest residents, rental housing situations can get a little…creative. And not in a good way. “A lesser-known consequence of the affordability crisis is an informal rental market that has illegally adapted, subdivided, and converted existing apartment buildings, townhouses, and high-rises to accommodate the lowest-paid populations,” as a new urban design exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Uneven Growth, notes.”

Read the rest via Fast Company: A Heat Map Of New York City’s Hidden Slums | Co.Design | business + design.

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