We all know there’s a housing crisis in The Bronx. 6,858 evictions occurred in our borough last year displacing tens of thousands of residents.
We hear the horror stories of families being constantly dragged to housing court as they face evictions oftentimes via unscrupulous landlords who are trying to simply move in higher paying tenants.
All that and other factors have placed The Bronx with yet another dismal statistic: The highest rates of eviction in the city with twice the rate of Brooklyn evictions which came in second according to a new interactive map published by the New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Acting Public Advocte’s office.
The Bronx is currently experiencing a humanitarian crisis if we can’t keep our residents housed safely without fear of eviction or harassment from greedy landlords who care more about a quick buck than the health and sanity of their residents.
This also doesn’t come as a surprise that our borough has such a high rate, 1 eviction per 79 units since The Bronx has one of the most rent burdened neighborhoods in the city.
This data just simply further illustrates the utter failure that is the affordable housing program, or perhaps things could be far worse without it.
Either way we are failing tens of thousands of people by not providing adequate and truly affordable housing for our residents.
Neighborhoods hardest hit sorted by community boards are as follows:
- CB 5 – Fordham, Morris Heights, University Heights, Mount Hope, – 1,801 evictions
- CB 4 – Mount Eden, Highbridge, Concourse – 1,753 evictions (tied with CB 7)
- CB 7 – Bedford Park, Fordham, Kingsbridge Heights, University Heights – 1,753 evictions
- CB 12 – Edenwald, Wakefield, Woodlawn, Eastchester, Olinville, Baychester – 1,553 evictions
- CB 9 – Parkchester, Castle Hill, Soundview – 1,491 evictions
- CB 6 – East Tremont, Bathgate, Belmont, West Farms – 1,317 evictions
- CB 3 – Melrose, Morrisania, Clarement, Concourse Village – 1,175 evictions
- CB 1 – Melrose, Mott Haven, Port Morris – 870 evictions
- CB 11 – Morris Park, Allerton, Pelham Parkway, Indian Village, Van Nest, Pelham Gardens – 860 evictions
- CB 2 – Hunts Point, Longwood – 671 evictions
- CB 8 – Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Kingsbridge – 623 evictions
- CB 10 – Co-op City, Throggs Neck, City Island, Country Club, Pelham Bay – 440 evicitons
However, when looking at actual rates of eviction, community board 6 in The Bronx leads the borough followed by CB5, CB3, CB2, and CB7 in the top 5.
The good news is that eviction rates are continuing to drop which could be the result of New York City’s Right to Counsel Law which began back in 2017 and provides free attorneys to qualifying tenants in 15 zip codes across the city which were deemed highest at-risk for eviction.
The program is supposed to be rolled out by 2022 across the entire city.
“The substantial reduction in residential evictions by marshals is a testament to the critical difference that providing counsel makes in protecting tenants from evictions from their homes and neighborhoods,” Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks said in a statement. “As we implement this important first-in-the nation initiative, we will continue leveling the playing field for tenants in need across the five boroughs.”
Organizers say many eviction cases are abuses of power by landlords who drag tenants to court to seize their lucrative apartments. Rent-regulated renters especially are prone to harassment by construction, which can create hazards that make units dangerous to inhabit.
In the year to date, the city says it has amped up its funding to more than $104 million for tenant access to legal assistance—that’s from $6 million in 2013. Overall, the city has seen a record 37 percent drop in residential evictions since 2013, according to the mayor’s office. But there is still much work to be done, said Johnson.
“The Council took a big step forward in this battle with the Universal Access Law in 2017, but this map shows how much more work we have left to do to help tenants here in the city and on the state level,” Johnson said.
Let’s hope eviction rates continue to drop but we must address our failing affordable housing program and create truly affordable opportunities if we want real results.