Local residents love the architecture of Columbia University and the surrounding buildings because it gives the 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 sky rises go up while more small businesses close down. A balance is needed to bridge this equality gap. A State Assembly District 69 leader must prioritize services for the community’s elderly, and increase accessibility to transportation and affordable housing. More educational opportunities must be created beyond the city’s Ivy League, and legal protections must be put in place to protect those in danger of gentrification displacement. What are the issues that political representatives must address in this area?
Issue #1: The Haves and the Have-nots
Harlem 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.
Issue #2: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 #3: Making Business and Legal Services Available
The effects of recession are still palpable in NYC, as the city’s homeless rates and empty storefronts rise amid spikes in evictions. While tenants and small business owners can plead their cases in court, affording quality lawyers are financially out of reach for many, leaving little hope for the most desperate. Making services available to all residents would turn the tide for many who risk losing their homes and livelihoods and would ebb the flow of the displaced.
Will State Senate District 29’s representative take these problems head on? Learn more about State Assembly Democratic candidates Daniel J. O'Donnell and Ruben Vargas and get informed about 2018’s New York State elections at racetorepresent.com.