Priced OutStuyvesant Town and the Loss of Middle-Class Neighborhoods

Priced OutStuyvesant Town and the Loss of Middle-Class Neighborhoods

Rachael A. "Woldoff, Lisa M. Morrison, and Michael R. Glass

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9781479812462

Publisher: NYU Press

Abstract

On an average morning in Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Town housing development, birds chirp as early risers dash off to work, elderly residents enjoy a peaceful morning stroll, and flocks of parents usher their children to school. It seems an unlikely location for conflict and strife, yet this eighteen-block area, initially planned as middle-class affordable housing, is the site of an ongoing struggle between long-term, rent-regulated residents and newer, market-rate tenants instigated by new owners seeking to turn the middle-class community into a luxury commodity. Priced Out takes readers into this heated battle as a transitioning neighborhood wrestles with contemporary capitalist strategies and the struggle to preserve renters’ rights. Attempting to replace longtime residents with younger, more affluent tenants, Stuyvesant Town’s owners have disrupted native residents’ sense of place and community, and their perceived quality of life. Through resident interviews, the authors offer an intimate view into the lives of different groups of tenants, neighbors all, involved in this struggle for prime real estate in New York, from students experiencing the city for the first time to baby boomers hanging on to the vestiges of middle-class urban life to older residents who have resided in Stuyvesant Town since it opened in 1947. A compelling account of changing urban landscapes and the struggle for security, Priced Out offers a comprehensive perspective on a community that, to some, is becoming unrecognizable as it is upgraded and altered.