You love the architecture of Columbia University and the surrounding buildings because it gives your neighborhood an unexpected Gothic feel. The mix of residents and business owners is a tale of the haves and the have-nots. While a hub for scholars, many of this community’s inhabitants feel affording the rent is impossible. More skyrises go up while more small businesses close down. A balance is needed to bridge this equality gap. What are some of the biggest issues facing District 7?
Issue #1: Protecting the Elderly
The city’s oldest residents who helped build this city cannot be neglected in favor of the young. Re-zoning and gentrification affect the city’s elderly population even moreso because many are living on a fixed income, and starting over feels impossible. Securing affordable housing for them is vital, as well as accessibility to transportation and ensuring health care needs are being met.
Issue #2: Making Legal Services Available
The effects of recession are still palpable in NYC, as the city’s homeless rates rise amid spikes in evictions. While tenants can plead their cases in housing court, affording quality lawyers are financially out of reach for many, leaving little hope for the most desperate. Making free law services for housing available to all residents would turn the tide for many who risk losing their homes and would ebb the flow of the displaced.
Issue #3: The Haves and the Have-nots
Washington Heights is becoming a hot real estate commodity, though this does not bode well for the community’s working-class roots. While luxury condos are regulated to provide affordable housing units, it’s not enough to stop residents and small businesses from being uprooted.