Income inequality is rife in Chelsea, a New York Times article finds.
In fact, the article cites research from the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University that finds that Chelsea ranks among the neighborhoods with the most income inequality in New York City. Although the neighborhood’s average income growth has grown in recent years, that growth is a result of a larger share of higher-income households in the area; the average income in public housing projects has remained about level.
While gentrification often comes with benefits such as safer streets and public areas, some of the psychological effects can be painful for long-term residents. Many feel alienated, the Times article says, and many also worry that the increased cost of living will eventually drive them from their homes.
Low-income households are not the only ones concerned about higher costs. Rent-regulated apartments provided opportunities for middle-income households to live within their means, but such housing arrangements have diminished in recent years. At the same time, Chelsea’s market rents have grown significantly, posing a threat to families living in the area without the protection of rent regulation.
A number of policies exist to help protect households affected by gentrification, and many lower-income families continue to live in the area. However, throughout the buzz surrounding the luxury retailers and big-name businesses entering the area, the implications of such changes, though less visible, should never be overlooked.
Read the full NYT article here.