The Disappearing Dominicans | Manhattan Times

Housing costs driving Dominicans from Northern Manhattan, study says

Story by Gregg McQueen

The percentage of Dominican households uptown declined 6.2 percent in just a four-year period.

Change is here.

So says a new study from the City University of New York’s Dominican Studies Institute (CUNY DSI) that details how rising housing costs are driving Dominican residents out of the Washington Heights and Inwood sections of Manhattan.

Though the neighborhoods have long been enclaves for New Yorkers of Dominican descent, gentrification is rapidly pushing longtime residents out of the area, the brief said.

Titled When a Neighborhood Becomes a Revolving Door for Dominicans: Rising Housing Costs in Washington Heights/Inwood and the Declining Presence of Dominicans, the brief represents part one of a two-part study CUNY DSI is undertaking on the state of affordable housing in Northern Manhattan.

Using household and census data, the study examines the growing cost of housing and the decline of Dominican households in the area, and includes a section on policy recommendations.

“I think a study like this was long overdue,” said Dr. Ramona Hernández, Director of CUNY DSI. “There’s been this notion that something is happening regarding gentrification in Washington Heights and Inwood, and this brief compiles data to examine that notion.”

According to the study, the percentage of Dominican households in Washington Heights/Inwood declined 6.2 percent in just a four-year period, between 2010 and 2014.

As of 2014, one-third of non-Hispanic white households had been in their current apartment for only two years, the study said, indicating an influx of non-Hispanic residents into the neighborhoods.

Read more: The Disappearing Dominicans | Manhattan Times


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  • Obed Fulcar
    February 16, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    This study was long coming and just confirms what we already know and experience. Dominicans have been leaving Quisqueya Heights for the Bronx for the past many years, looking for more affordable rents. The reality is that post 9-11 many people began discovering Uptown Manhattan fleing Downtown area outrageous rents and therefore put a huge pressure in rising rents. Lastly, NY City is a victim of its own success. Everybody wants to live in NY and causing natural market forces of demand/offer have pushed prices to what we have now.
    Something that the local leadership have failed is to promote homeownership opportunities for Dominican households to pursue. A sort of MiChel Lama coop apt building could have been promoted, especially with so many polititians, elected officials, majors and presidential candidates that have sympathized and courted the dominican vote all this years. I am afraid we lost the window for us Dominican to continue to live here in Washington Heights. Sadly in 30 years the people that will be living in the Heights will scratch their heads wondering how in the world is Juan Pablo Duarte Boulevard is named after!

    • Lashele W.
      August 9, 2018 at 10:01 am

      Its a welcome change. I found many Dominicans to be clannish and unwelcoming. Quisyeva Heights is in fact upper Manhattan, in NYC and The United States. Time to assimilate to popular culture or go back to the DR.