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There Goes the Neighborhood

A podcast about how and why gentrification happens. Season 3, produced in partnership with WLRN, Miami’s public radio station, introduces us to “climate gentrification,” reporting about the ways climate change, and our adaption to it, may seriously intensify the affordable housing crisis in many cities. In many parts of the US, black communities were pushed to low-lying flood prone areas. As Nadege Green reports, in Miami, the opposite is true. Black communities were built on high elevation away from the coast. Now because of sea level rise that high land is in demand. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, 2 Dope Queens and many others.© WNYC Studios

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Warning: This podcast is a series podcast

This means episodes are recommended to be heard in order from the very start. Here's the 10 best episodes of the series anyway though!

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There Went the Neighborhood

The team behind There Goes the Neighborhood talks about what they've learned throughout the process of making the podcast, and how to move forward in a post-gentrified Brooklyn. Where do we go from here? How do we reconcile with what now seems the inevitability of gentrification not just in Brooklyn, but nationwide? 

22mins

4 May 2016

Rank #1

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Our Town

Gentrification has many New Yorkers asking the same question: Is there still a place for me in this city? We meet Dr. Ron Dailey who's been practicing medicine in Brooklyn for two decades, all the while watching long time patients leave the city, one after another. We meet New Yorkers fighting to stay and others who have made the decision to go. And we check in with East New York, the neighborhood where Mayor de Blasio's rezoning plan was passed by city council just last week. With the wheels of gentrification already in motion, we start thinking about solutions. There are some good ideas on the table that we don't always give enough space in the conversation. Take for instance, public housing. No, not that public housing. The public housing idea that never happened. It involves going all the way back to Fiorello La Guardia -- and looking beyond the de Blasio affordable housing plan. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

42mins

27 Apr 2016

Rank #2

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Trickery, Fraud and Deception

In the fast moving world of Brooklyn real estate, for some it feels more like the Wild West – developers and investors looking to cash in on the gold rush don't always play by the rules. Meet Tia Strother, she's a young mother whose family has been living in Bedford-Stuyvesant for five generations. Tia tells us how horrifying it was to learn that her 90-year-old great grandmother was convinced to sign away the family home to a speculator. She did so for no money and with no lawyer present. Now the family is fighting to hang on to the house.  And we visit Prospect Lefferts-Gardens to get the story of a vacant lot at 237 Maple Street. Neighbors – new and old – have spent the last five years transforming this one small piece of Brooklyn from a dumping ground to a thriving community garden. They put together a composting program and arranged visits for kids at a local pre-school; there were summer BBQs and weed picking parties. But all of that came to a halt one day in 2014 when Joseph and Michael Makhani showed up, claiming to own the lot. The only problem: their deed might be fraudulent. Now they are in court, battling it out with the gardeners, trying to establish their ownership of the property in order to build a five-story luxury apartment building. The gardeners and their lawyer have a plan to beat the Makhanis, but the cost of such a victory might be too high.  Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

37mins

13 Apr 2016

Rank #3

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Williamsburg, What's Good?

While politicians and developers strategize how to control the changes in New York, we want find out what gentrification feels like on the ground. How does a tidal wave of money and fast-shifting demographics affect the people who share a neighborhood? What role does race play when it comes to deciding who is included in a community — and who is excluded? We start on the west coast in San Francisco, where Alex Nieto was shot 14 times by police after new white residents reported him as a foreigner in his own neighborhood of Bernal Heights. Jamilah King of Mic.com talks about the gentrification dynamics that were central in Nieto's death.  Then we swing back to the epicenter of Brooklyn gentrification: Williamsburg. Writer and humorist Henry Alford talks about the inherently white aesthetic of the Brooklyn hipster, and YouTube personality Akilah Hughes tells her story about a racialized assault that spirals out of control at a well-known bar one Halloween night.   And we meet Tranquilina Alvillar from Puebla, Mexico, who's been living in her Williamsburg apartment for 25 years. Her landlord tried everything to get her out — paying her to leave, changing the lock, demolition — but she's still there.  Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

30mins

6 Apr 2016

Rank #4

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Here’s the Plan

Mayor de Blasio's plan to rezone East New York and 14 other neighborhoods is his administration's way of controlling the fierce gentrification machine that is steamrolling across the city. So what does the zoning plan for East New York actually look like? This week we talk with WNYC's Jessica Gould and City Limits editor Jarrett Murphy to understand the nuts and bolts of the plan. And we go deep into the gentrification machine to see how it works. We meet Elizabeth Grefrath, a young gentrefier in Crown Heights who tells us what it was like to move to the neighborhood just a few years ago. We sit down with big time developers like Boaz Gilad of Brookland Capital and Kunal Chothani of Akelius -- a new player from Sweden -- to understand how they operate in the borough's various markets. And we walk the streets of Flatbush with real estate agent Namane Mohlabane who shows just how complicated -- and personal -- the machine can be.    Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

31mins

30 Mar 2016

Rank #5

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'Brooklyn, We Go Hard'

East New York is the first neighborhood Mayor Bill de Blasio targeted for comprehensive rezoning -- and it's the neighborhood that saw real estate investments jump from $2.7 million in 2013 to $42 million in the first half of 2014 alone. But since the 1960s, outsiders have known East New York for its low median income and high crime rates. So what's it been like all those years for the people who call it home? 

30mins

16 Mar 2016

Rank #6

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This Is a Black Neighborhood. You Aren’t Black.

In Inglewood, developers are building new luxury housing close to tech-job centers near the beach. Rents are rising and black residents watch nervously as white home-buyers move in. For Inglewood resident Erin Aubry Kaplan, the change would mean an increase in her home’s value but at the expense of a unique cultural space.

24mins

3 Oct 2017

Rank #7

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All These People Moving In, New Buildings, New Apartments

Southern California was built on the sale of sunlit homes in affordable real estate developments. But the many building booms of the past century haven't been enough. In just the past 15 years, Los Angeles has added 230,000 new residents, but only 40,000 new homes. The median cost of a home in L.A. has doubled in the last five years. Rent climbs ever upward. So, who is L.A. for?

25mins

26 Sep 2017

Rank #8

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They Want My House

Once you know what to look for, they're everywhere. In mostly Latino and black neighborhoods, rows of aging houses with wrought-iron fences, their yards overgrown and concrete crumbling, are punctuated by homes with distinctive 2017 aesthetics. The fresh earth-toned paint job, burnished silver house numbers, horizontal fencing, drought-tolerant native grasses in the yard: it's a flipped house and it's probably selling for hundreds of thousands more than the others on the block. In some of L.A.'s poorest neighborhoods more than 20 percent of all home sales are flips -- houses bought by investors within the past year and then sold for a profit.

28mins

10 Oct 2017

Rank #9

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East New York, Did It Work?

Mayor de Blasio is running for re-election and affordable housing remains one of his signature issues. If his plan for East New York is a measure of the merits of his approach, how's it working out? Kai Wright brings us back to East New York to check in on how the Mayor's plan to leverage the force of gentrification for good is working a year and a half later. 

16mins

20 Sep 2017

Rank #10