New York is about to Experience a Crime Wave and No One is Prepared

With over 60,000 New Yorkers already homeless and even more on the brink, I often sit back and wonder why Mayor DeBlasio and his administration seem complacent. The word complacent may seem ill-fitting because he is trying to build more shelters but that is a Band-Aid, a “quick fix” that will do little to stop the deluge of poverty and homelessness that is going to sweep the city if nothing is done to address the core issue. The city, instead of tackling the immediate crisis of affordability - the root cause of the problem, is trying to build more homeless shelters to get the problem out of sight and out of mind in my opinion.

You can’t get anything more than a room for $1000 in this city. The housing lottery takes years, public housing run by the NYC Housing Authority is overrun, underfunded, and full of its own issues and because there is little to no “real” rent control in this city, people are being squeezed everyday more and more out of their homes. Landlords are commonly charging $1600 for a two bedroom on the low end because the real estate market inflated housing values to the point that the average $500,000 home (and that price is modest) will cost around $40,000 give or take in property taxes in one year. That’s someone’s whole salary going towards taxes alone! The high incomes that gentrifiers are bringing into formerly low to middle income neighborhoods are skewing community income stats and are thus increasing rents across the board for everyone. Someone making anything under $50,000 in this city is living hand to mouth because a whole check and then some will have to go towards shelter alone.

I got my B.A in Sociology and any good urban social studies class will tell you that where there is extreme poverty and a tale of the haves and the have-nots that crime will soon follow.

This societal ebb and flow of poverty and crime may be why people in Crown Heights are livid about plans to put yet another homeless shelter in their neighborhood. When the crime wave starts, and at this point it is inevitable, they stand to get the largest impact and most damage. On a superficial level it appears petty for people to be upset about placing another homeless shelter in their district, but on a deeper level it matters. Homeless shelters aren’t popping up on the Upper East side or in Williamsburg with such frequency, they’re popping up in minority neighborhoods that are already struggling and will most likely not have the community means to support a burgeoning homeless population. Where are these people going to work? Will the pay be enough to stabilize them? I doubt it.

New York City is creating a permanent underclass that will be dependent on government assistance for at least a generation or two. Poverty hinders progress and when children don’t have stable shelter, food, and access to extra curricular activities, etc. then it breeds a generation that is built and geared towards survival, not community. IF you want to see what NYC from the 80s and 90s looked like, you won’t have to open a history book or purchase a Notorious B.I.G album. Give it another 5 years with this current trend and you’ll get a front row, bars on your windows, double bolted locks on your door, view. When you’re sitting there wondering why this city is luging towards disaster, remember Bloomberg and DeBlasio. Remember their cozy relationships with the real estate industry and their cowardice towards tackling the affordability crisis.

Bring back “The Rent Is TOO Damn High” guy. He, apparently, is the only “politician” that really gets it.

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