This brief represents part one of a two-part study the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute is undertaking on the state of affordable housing in the Washington Heights/Inwood sector of New York City, historically a predominantly Dominican neighborhood. The present study specifically examines the process of gentrification, the rising cost of housing, and the decline of Dominican households in Washington Heights/Inwood. It also includes a section on policy recommendations following the analysis of the data.
Part-two of the study will focus more closely on evaluating the state of programs such as Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and the concrete demand for Subsidized and Public Housing. The study will also examine de facto practices, such as Preferential Rent, that promise to reduce the cost of rental housing, and the displacement of low-income residents, particularly Dominicans, from Washington Heights/Inwood.
The overarching goals of the two-part study are
- To contribute to the discussion on the need to preserve and build more affordable housing for working class, low-income, and immigrant individuals;
- To expand the level of academic knowledge on the impact of an increasingly deregulated housing market in longstanding vulnerable communities, and
- To arm such communities and their elected officials with tangible solutions to what has become a growing local as well as national epidemic.