Full Guide

How to Get Ahead of Gentrification – Clinton Hill Edition


Guide Intro

How to Get Ahead of Gentrification was put together to help the residents of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. As you probably already know your area is currently looking gentrification in the face. This guide was designed to help walk you through the process of making the best of your neighborhoods change. The goal is urban renewal without gentrification – reap the benefits and leave the side effects behind.

The Issue

Gentrification is “the process of renewal and rebuilding, accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents (Merriam Webster Dictionary).”

Gentrification has been a persistent source of concern for many New Yorkers as it is and has been occurring in the NYC area. While it is often thought to be limited to Manhattan, gentrification is in fact happening in other boroughs as well, especially in Brooklyn.

Gentrification brings about increased home and rent prices. Soho, Chelsea, the East Village, Park Slope, Williamsburg, Fort Greene, and parts of Queens have all been “gentrified”(Buntin, John). All these areas sport premium prices and in most cases are unaffordable for most New Yorkers. Median monthly rents at around $2700; in some areas, nearly 60% of people’s income goes toward rent. Taking these high prices into account, people are looking to different areas to find a more affordable location in proximity to Manhattan. This drives lower income residents, artists and small businesses out of the area.

This is apparent when one looks at the history of Clinton Hill. According to the New York Times, “The United States Census Bureau’s 2009-2013 American Community Survey estimated the population as 39 percent white, 36 percent black, 16 percent Hispanic and 5 percent Asian. The 2010 census showed a 149 percent increase in the white population over 2000 and a decline of 29 percent in the number of blacks.”

Average median monthly rental is $2,450 a month.

That being said, urban renewal on its own can have many positive impacts on a neighborhood, such as decreased crime, access to healthier food and better schools, and even cleaner streets.


General Solutions to Gentrification

“Gentrification can nudge a neighborhood up the slope; decline can roll it off a cliff. Somewhere along that trajectory of change is a sweet spot, a mixed and humming street that is not quite settled or sanitized, where Old Guard and new arrivals coexist in equilibrium. The game is to make it last.”  

http://marketurbanism.com/2015/01/28/2-ways-to-fight-gentrification/    – zoning


https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/520795 – cully main street project

http://search.proquest.com/docview/1520967462?pq-origsite=gscholar – planning

http://brooklynbased.com/blog/2015/05/15/clinton-hill-native-shares-neighborhood-lore/ – native interview (the real deal not some clown)


Change zoning laws by lobbying local politicians. Force new condo developments to have a certain number of rent stabilized.

At one point, Myrtle Avenue used to be considered Murder Avenue. Now all restaurants, bars and banks.


Applying Solutions To Clinton Hill


Now that we’ve seen the various ways the lack of affordable housing negatively affects the lives of lower-income residents, let’s take a closer look at possible solutions we could apply in Clinton Hill.


  1. Locals should contact their representatives in local government about efforts to combat negative effects of gentrification–send the letter attached at the end of this guide!
  2. All new developments in Clinton Hill must have a third of their future units auctioned off in a lottery comprising solely of local lower-income Clinton Hill residents
  3. There should be a tax break offered to landlords who agree to designate 50% of their units as rent-stabilized or rent-controlled
    1. We can also offer other incentives, one of which offering landlords substantial increase in buildable square feet F, ie. more air rights.
    2. For example, a landlord owns a property with the right to build 5,000 square feet. He or she may be granted the rights to build an additional 4,000 square feet provided they designate 50% of the total units as rent-controlled and rent-stabilized


Here is some helpful info to get you started

Clinton hill is part of New York City District 35

The council member for District 35 is Laurie Cumbo, here is how you can contact her

Be sure to check out our “sign and send” ready letter outline here


Contact Information
District Office Address

1 Hanson Pl

Suite 201

Brooklyn, NY 11243

District Office Phone


District Office Fax


Legislative Office Address

250 Broadway Suite 1792 New York, NY 10007

Legislative Office Phone


Legislative Office Fax





If you would like more information or further help from the New York City Council please call 311.

Works Cited

Hengels, Adam. “Only 2 Ways to Fight Gentrification (you’re Not Going to like One of Them).” Market Urbanism. N.p., 28 Jan. 2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.


Green, Jared. “Is Urban Revitalization Without Gentrification Possible?” The Dirt. N.p., 26 Sept. 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2016. <https://dirt.asla.org/2014/09/26/is-urban-revitalization-without-gentrification-possible/>.


“Cully Commercial Corridor and Local Street Plan.”Https://www.portlandoregon.gov/. City of Portland, n.d. Web. <https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/520795>.


Sierra, Gabrielle. “A Clinton Hill Native Shares His Neighborhood Lore.”Brooklyn Based. N.p., 15 May 2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2016. <http://brooklynbased.com/blog/2015/05/15/clinton-hill-native-shares-neighborhood-lore/>.


Besonen, Julie. “Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, a Neighborhood in Transition.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 05 Dec. 2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2016. <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/06/realestate/clinton-hill-brooklyn-a-neighborhood-in-transition.html?_r=0>.


Annunziata, Sandra, and Lidia K. C. Manzo. “Desire for Diversity and Difference in Gentrified Brooklyn] Dialogue between a Planner and a Sociologist.” Cambio 3.6 (2013): 71,88,305,307. ProQuest. 27 Apr. 2016 .


Kamber, Michael. “Bracing for Gentrification in the South Bronx.” New York Times. N.p., 2      Oct. 2015. Web. <http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/02/bracing-for-gentrification-in-   the-south-bronx/?_r=1>.

Kaysen, Ronda. “The South Bronx Beckons.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 19 Sept. 2015. Web. 17 Nov. 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/realestate/the- south-bronx-beckons.html?_r=0>.

Castle, Tyler. “Gentrification: A Blessing or a Plague?” Values Capitalism. N.p., n.d. Web. 17     Nov. 2015. <http://www.valuesandcapitalism.com/gentrification-a-blessing-or-a-         plague/>.

“South Bronx Residents Skeptical of De Blasio Rezoning Plan.” The Real Deal. N.p., 21 Oct.      2015. Web. 17 Nov. 2015. <http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/10/21/south-bronx-         residents-skeptical-of-de-blasio-rezoning-plan/>.

“The Bronx.” Choice Reviews Online 42.05 (2005): n. pag. Web.

“The Bronx Is the New Queens.” The Real Deal. N.p., 29 May 2015. Web. 17 Nov. 2015. <http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/05/29/the-bronx-is-the-new-queens/>.

“Is Gentrification All Bad?” NYMag.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.    <http://nymag.com/news/features/gentrification-2014-2/index3.html>.

“New York City Gentrification Maps and Data.” New York City Gentrification Maps and Data. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2015. <http://www.governing.com/gov-data/new-york-    gentrification-maps-demographic-data.html>.

Buntin, John. “Negative Effects of Gentrification Are a Myth: OPINION.” The Real Deal. N.p., 17 Jan. 2015. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.          <http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/01/17/gentrification-is-a-myth-opinion/>.

“Is the South Bronx the New Brooklyn?”  | Architects and Artisans. N.p., 23 June 2015. Web. 17 Nov. 2015. <http://architectsandartisans.com/index.php/2015/06/is-the-south-bronx-the- new-brooklyn/>.