Dear friends, landowners, community leaders and community members,
I ask you to please take a moment and read this letter with an open heart.
Demographic changes are swiftly changing the culture of our neighborhood. Local Lubavitch landowners and outside chassidic investors are making Crown Heights an attractive location for young, non Jewish tenants. In fact, it has come to attention that some investors are specifically targeting their advertising for this purpose. This is clearly seen with the new PLEX building Montgomery Street and Nostrand Avenue.
Young, upwardly mobile professionals may seem to be pleasant tenants who bring in reliable income, but they also introduce a very different way of life: new nightclubs and bars, sun tanning on rooftops, bike lanes and an increasing amount of immodesty on our streets. Some of these changes are hard to ignore; for instance, one of the sun tanning parties are visible for our young children to see from the window of a local school.
Rising rent compounds the problem and makes it even harder for our young couples and families to compete in the rental market.
Friends, we pay a premium to live in this neighborhood, and we strive to create an atmosphere of holiness and kedusha for our children and teens. These yuppies bring pritzus to our neighborhood. They come out at night to our restaurants and act inappropriately while waiting on line etc.
We would hope that landlords, especially the Crown Heights landlords, would put a priority on our values, but sadly the need to make money is taking precedence for them. Some young agents and landlords will specifically rent to these goyim instead of a fellow Jewish family. Sadly, some homeowners have gone as far as bringing these yuppies as tenants in their home in prime locations.
Therefore, I suggest taking appropriate actions to help preserve the special the unique nature of our neighborhood.
We must form a group to come up with effective ways to reinforce the observant Jewish character of crown heights. The Satmars in Williamsburg are faced with the same problem and have made a successful committee to curb this issue. This could include meeting with investors from our own community and possibly outside, subsidizing rent for our own community members or other creative solutions.
Friends, I too am a landlord. Yes, it may seem easier to bring these young people as tenants. However, think about how they will change the face of our unique community In spiritual and physical sense. They are buying condos from our OWN landlords in the heart of the community. If we don’t give precedence to our own couples and help our communities expand, Then who will?
As a community we have survived through thick and thin. We have survived through the riots to help preserve our community. Why are we bringing in more outsiders with open hands?
Please help us in defending the special, unique place that is Crown Heights for our children and their future.
A Crown Heights Resident