The city's black middle-class population is receding, according to a study.
The report, prepared by the nonprofit Citizens Housing and Planning Council, showed that the black middle class declined 18%, as the black population dropped across the city by 5%.
Once solidly middle-class strongholds in Hollis and Jamaica, Queens; East Flatbush, Brooklyn; and Woodlawn, the Bronx, had significantly fewer middle- and upper-income black families in 2010 than they did in 2000, and significantly more low-income families, the study reported.
In Hollis, longtime residents said they had felt the change.
“All of our neighbors have left,” said Peyton Smith, 81, who’s lived on 205th St. since he bought the corner house at 109th Ave. in 1965 for $23,000.
Smith said his neighbors have largely have packed up and left town in the past 10 years, pushed out by rising property tax rates.
Most have headed back to the South, Smith said, where many like himself hail from originally.
“We’ve had brand-new neighbors for the last 10 years,” he said.
Other residents said that after the foreclosure crisis, real estate agents and speculators descended on the community, buying up houses and splitting single-family homes into two or three units.
We’ve had brand-new neighbors for the last 10 years.
“Every day, you see people stopping you, or putting things in your mailbox, wanting to buy your house,” said Winston Byndloss, 73, who moved up the block from Smith in 1978.
“How they cut them down nobody knows. I would love to see what size the bedrooms are.”