Getting your first apartment is very exciting and scary all at the same time. From the time after you get engaged until the happy wedding day, you are in a race against time, otherwise known as apartment hunting.
Apartment hunting in Crown Heights, a race that is hard to really win. It is a stressful and agonizing process to secure a place to live. While we all somehow find a place to live, many of us needed to settle for whatever we can get, or pay for.
You would think that if it’s so hard to find an apartment, there’s probably no availability. Apartment hunting shows that there is. It’s just that a one-bedroom apartment rental begins at $1,500 a month and goes to about $1,800 a month. (That is besides last month’s pay, and security, and sometimes a broker’s fee which can amount to $4500).
Because we want to begin our married life in Crown Heights, we pay the full price, we settle for whatever conditions (and smells) are offered to us and we move in.
Now fast forward 1-2 years down the line. We’ve been blessed with a child or two and could already use a bigger place. The one-bedroom apartment is just not going work and no Section-8 apartments are freeing up.
If we thought we were tight until now, we discover that a two-bedroom apartment in Crown Heights is almost unaffordable. It starts at a whopping $1,900 a month, and goes all the way to $2,500 a month.
How are we, regular working Crown Heights residents, supposed to afford to raise a family here? What options do we have? Is this even a valid complaint? I want to know if it’s even a concern that they are driving young families out of Crown Heights?
As a frum Jewish person, I have expenses that my gentile neighbors don’t. Washer, drier, elevator, living space, kitchen, etc. For them it’s all about location and a bedroom that can fit a bed and a desk.
What am I getting at? Well, these landlords are pricing their apartments for almost the same amount as an apartment in Park Slope, Williamsburg, or even some places in Manhattan.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that everyone has to make money. I’m not asking landlords to give away apartments and lose money, but rather they should realize what they are doing to their own community.
I’m not the first person to bring this issue up, and I definitely won’t be the last, but someone must do something about this.