Priced Out: Stuyvesant Town and the Loss of Middle-Class Neighborhoods

Priced Out: Stuyvesant Town and the Loss of Middle-Class Neighborhoods

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Overview

On an average morning in the tree-lined parks, plazas, and play-areas of 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, younger, market-rate tenants, and new owners seeking to turn this 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. Since the early 2000’s, Stuyvesant Town’s owners have sought to transform this iconic Manhattan housing development into a luxury destination for those able to afford the higher price tag. Attempting to replace longtime residents with younger, more affluent tenants, they have disrupted native residents’ sense of place, community, and their perceived quality of life. Through resident interviews, the authors offer an intimate view into the lives of different groups of tenants 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. A compelling, fascinating account of changing urban landscapes and the struggle for security, Priced Out offers a comprehensive perspective of a community that, to some, is becoming unrecognizable as it is upgraded and altered.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479818631
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 03/15/2016
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Rachael A. Woldoff is Associate Professor of Sociology at West Virginia University. She is the author of White Flight / Black Flight: The Dynamics of Racial Change in an American Neighborhood , winner of the 2013 Best Book in Urban Affairs Award given by the Urban Affairs Association.

Lisa M. Morrison is a Social Affairs Officer at the United Nations in New York City and a contributing author to the
Report on the World Social Situation.

Michael R. Glass is Lecturer of Urban Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and the co-editor of Performativity,
Politics, and the Production of Social Space
.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

List of Abbreviations xi

Introduction: The Transformation of Stuyvesant Town 1

1 History 15

2 Stayers Then and Now: Getting and Keeping a Slice of Stuy Town 39

3 Aging in Place in the City; Ruthie's Story 69

4 Neoliberalism, Deregulation, and the Challenges to Middle-Class Housing 91

5 Landlords' and Tenants' Strategies for Coping with the New York City Rental Housing Market 114

6 The New Kids in (Stuy)Town: Luxury or Liability? 143

7 The Kids Are All Right? Kara's Story 164

Conclusion: Community and Commodity 183

Notes 199

References 209

Index 223

About the Authors 237

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