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Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Hasidic Jews Pushing Blacks & Latinos Out of Brooklyn
Hasidic Jew Neighbourhood Exposed As Top
Section 8 Beneficiary Pushing Blacks &
Latinos Out of Brooklyn
MAY 17, 2016WORD ON DA STREET
There are many misconceptions as to which communities actually benefit the most from public assistance and federal subsidies such as Section 8 and welfare. This Daily News expose sheds some light on the answer to that question and it definitely isn’t the Black and Latino communities many Republicans love to accuse of getting all the “free hand outs”! Check it out below and let us know what you think….
The annual spring ritual marks the first day of Passover in the Hasidic Jewish enclave of South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where daily life is built on ancient laws and religious devotion. But the insular community depends on outside money to survive — federal subsidies to help many low-income Hasidic families cover the rent.
New York City’s 123,000 vouchers make this the largest Section 8 voucher program in the country. Reluctant landlords and rising rents are making vouchers nearly impossible to use in many areas of the city. Tenants, especially larger families, are often relegated to the edges of Brooklyn and the Bronx. That’s why this cluster of Hasidic households stands out.
The neighborhood is home to one of the highest concentrations of Section 8 housing vouchers in the city, according to federal data analyzed by WNYC and the Daily News. In several of its census tracts, Section 8 tenants compose more than 30% of residents, a level reached only in scattered pockets of the Bronx.
The difference: In Brooklyn, the Section 8 tenants live smack in the middle of one of the city’s hottest real estate market.
The juxtaposition happened over years, not overnight. Leaders leveraged longstanding political connections to win favorable zoning changes. Local developers bought and built to meet the need. Residents organized to get in line for rental subsidies. Block by block, the community created a de facto free market, affordable housing plan.
It’s only possible in a tight-knit community where the haves help the have-nots, said Rabbi David Niederman, a community leader and local power broker.
“We have people keeping the price lower,” said Niederman, executive director of United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg. “Even a person living on Section 8 can pay the monthly rentals.”
Skeptics suggest an off-the-books economy has underpinned development within this community. Many residents bank informally and property is regularly swapped between family members and holding companies.
“There’s a cash economy and things are not done strictly according to law,” said Marty Needleman, executive director of Brooklyn Legal Services and a community advocate who has clashed with the Hasidim for years over fair-housing issues.
All sides agree the community is clamoring for affordable housing, a demand fueled by one of the highest birthrates in the city. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish couples typically marry in their late teens and have many children.
This Hasidic community has mastered the art of acquiring the highly coveted but hard-to-get Section 8 homes….
Vouchers are particularly concentrated into what some call “New Williamsburg,” where the Hasidim have expanded into formerly industrial areas and historically black and Latino Bedford-Stuyvesant.
In the late 1990s, Hasidic developers quietly began to petition the city to let them convert old factories and warehouses — bought cheap — into housing.
Building by building, the Board of Standards and Appeals, a little known quasi-judicial agency, granted the zoning variances in Williamsburg and Bed-Stuy.
An analysis by Brooklyn Legal Services found the board approved buildings containing more than 500 apartments between 1995 and 2000, more approvals than any other area in the city.
In 1999, Legal Services unsuccessfully sued to stop the conversions, arguing the standards board was subverting zoning rules and violating anti-discrimination laws. The suit also claimed the large apartments were designed for Hasidic families and were advertised only in Yiddish-language newspapers, leaving black and Latino residents out in the cold. – via dailynews