Comptroller study: Gentrification, rent pushing Hispanics out of Brooklyn
A recent study finds that the Hispanic population in Williamsburg is shrinking.
An economic report by city Comptroller Scott Stringer earlier this year found that the Hispanic population in Williamsburg shrunk 16 percent from 2000 through 2015. The report says more Latinos are moving out to communities in Queens, central Harlem and Staten Island.
"I don't know if the Latino community is going to be here in 20 years in New York, and right now the stakes are that high, it's so expensive in New York,” says Angelo Falcon, president of the National Institute for Latino Policy.
Falcon says gentrification and the resulting rise in housing costs have left many lower income and middle class Latinos with no choice but to move. He says more buildings will be bought out if city advocates and officials don't step up.
Ramon Cebos has been living in Williamsburg for years. He says he has tried to get into an affordable apartment but that it seems impossible.
"I don't get it. There's plenty of empty apartments, they just don't make them available. I've been on the waiting list for five years,” he says.
Community Board member Iris Minya says it’s the new normal.
"Recently we had five affordable apartments open up, and we received 80,000 applications. We need actual apartments that people can qualify for. We need to continue to save our neighborhood,” says Minya.