Harlem is winning the New York City rat race. With nearly 250 rat complaints in 2018 a small portion of Central Harlem topped Manhattan in the rate of complaints related to the persistent vermin, according to a new study published by RentHop.
The area defined as “South Central Harlem” — which appears to be located between 110th and 126th streets above Central Park — had 247 rodent complaints in 2018, good for a rate of 464.9 annual complaints per square mile. The only other neighborhood to top the slice of Harlem was Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, which had a rate of 529.7 rat complaints per square mile.
Rounding out the top five were Yorkville with 399.3 average yearly complaints per square mile, Hamilton Heights with 336 and Clinton Hill with 334.9, according to the report.
Numbers for other sections of Harlem include:
- Morningside Heights: 160 total complaints, 212.2 annual complaints per square mile
- East Harlem South: 145 total complaints, 207.3 annual complaints per square mile
- East Harlem North: 162 total complaints, 190.7 annual complaints per square mile
- Central Harlem North-Polo Grounds: 432 total complaints, 295 annual complaints per square mile
- Manhattanville : 65 total complaints, 181.7 annual complaints per square mile
- Hamilton Heights : 226 total complaints, 336 annual complaints per square mile
New Yorkers logged 17,353 total rat-sighting complaints to the city government this past year, 9 percent fewer than in 2017, according to the RentHop report published Monday. But that’s the second-largest number among the five major cities for which the real estate website analyzed 311 data.
The critters were especially abundant in Manhattan and Brooklyn, RentHop’s figures show — the former logged the most complaints per square mile at 188.2, while the latter had the most complaints overall with 6,565.
Complaints to 311 offer insights into where New Yorkers are reporting rat problems most frequently, but there are limits to its usefulness. Research has shown that different demographic groups and neighborhoods use 311 services at different rates, requiring governments to analyze other factors when evaluating complaints, according to a 2016 article in Governing Magazine.
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