Housing crisis is visually evident throughout much of Bushwick, Brooklyn.  A walk through the neighborhood reveals boarded-up windows on abandoned residential buildings heavily marked with graffiti; foreclosure signs dot the landscape.  Simultaneously, new condominiums are being constructed, often extravagantly out of place, while signs of gentrification are increasingly present, marked by coffeehouses and organic grocery stores, gallery spaces and wine shops, old warehouses converted into artist lofts.  Both the processes of abandonment and disrepair, coupled with condominium construction and gentrification signal housing crisis in Bushwick; in a neighborhood with little affordable housing and widespread negligence, gentrification has contributed to rising rents, intensified harassment, and for many long-time, low-income residents, displacement from their homes and community.

Years of disinvestment and decay within urban neighborhoods often leads to conditions ripe for urban renewal; rehabilitation and inflows of public or private investment, in part due to real-estate speculation in a tight housing market.  In other words, the perception that property values in a neighborhood are highly under-valued and investment is likely to bring about high profits.  As a Tenant Organizer in the Bushwick community pointed out:

“…we’re in an area that is rapidly being gentrified in spite of the total economic crisis in the country, there’s money to be made here in Bushwick… part of that is because as the rents go up in Manhattan and people lose their positions and so forth, they’re seeking to find affordable housing, and this is one of the neighborhoods where there still exists such a thing.”

So, what does housing crisis look like in Bushwick?

Here are a few examples which demonstrate housing in disrepair, often abandoned, as well as establishments which signal gentrification:

> Live in the Bushwick neighborhood?

> What is your perspective on the housing crisis?

> Have any additional images to add that demonstrate housing crisis within the Bushwick community? – Please send them our way!

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