Saturday, April 11, 2020

New York's decisions to prioritize upscale real estate development and speculation has led to death and malaise in the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic

Association for Neighborhood & Housing and Development

New York City remains the epicenter of the global COVID-19 pandemic, but its effects are being felt differently across neighborhoods. As ANHD's  previous analysis  shows, this virus is hitting low-income communities of color the hardest. The neighborhoods with the highest range of positive COVID-19 cases in the city are home to communities of color whose residents are disproportionately employed in frontline service occupations and face among the highest rates of rent burden and overcrowding. These communities – the epicenters of the epicenter - are home to the largely invisible workforce that is keeping New York City running in this moment of crisis, and they are the ones who are bearing the brunt of its impacts. Recent data released by the City’s Department of Health shows that Black and Latinx New Yorkers are dying at twice the rate of whites - making clear that this pandemic is not only a public health crisis, but a crisis of racial and economic justice as well.   

Among the host of historic inequities behind the disparate impact of COVID-19, one is particularly striking: the string of hospital closures that took place in these communities over the past few decades. At least 18 hospitals have closed all of their inpatient services in New York City since 1998 - leading to the loss of thousands of hospital beds - with two-thirds of those closures occurring in the outer boroughs. A look at the data shows that the majority of these outer borough hospital closures fell in lower-income communities of color that bear the brunt of the coronavirus crisis today. These community hospitals catered to neighborhood residents, many of whom lack private insurance; the mass closure and downsizing to outpatient services means less access to necessary health services, especially in a time of crisis. Households without health insurance have few options if they get sick, other than visiting the remaining public hospitals, adding to the likelihood of exposure to coronavirus and the further straining of the healthcare system. 

 While community hospitals were being closed in low-income communities of color, hospitals in wealthier sections of the city were being converted into luxury residential buildings, further depleting the city's overall supply of hospital beds. Of the 18 hospitals that closed in the last two decades, over 40% have been replaced by residential developments, most of them with rents or sales prices that are astronomically out of reach for the average New Yorker. At the site of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, where countless poor New Yorkers received care during the AIDS crisis, now stands Greenwich Lane, a luxury condo building. Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, a community medical facility known as America’s first teaching hospital, was replaced by 5 River Park where a studio apartment was recently sold for $1.15 million.

In Queens, the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, the closures of St. John's Hospital, Parkway 
 Hospital, and Mary Immaculate Hospital have led to massive overburdening of nearby medical facilities. Each of the neighborhoods where these hospitals were once located in have some of the highest rates of COVID cases in the city.


 The former site of St. John’s Hospital is located just blocks from Elmhurst Hospital - the same hospital that has seen among the most COVID-19-related deaths in the country. What stands in its place now is Queens Pointe, a market-rate apartment building. The former site of Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica - another COVID-19 hotspot - was transformed into a residential development in 2009. Nearby Parkway Hospital, which once served low-income Queens residents, was also torn down to make room for a residential building in 2008.




 As these hospitals continued to serve poor and uninsured New Yorkers, financial restructuring and an inability to pay their bills contributed to a spate of closures in the late 2000s. The deprioritization of hospital infrastructure and subsequent development of residential - particularly luxury residential buildings - on these former hospital sites is the direct result of the City’s land use decisions. The Bloomberg era saw a pattern of high profile rezonings of both public and private land to facilitate luxury residential development, with few if any public benefits secured in exchange for the enormous value these conversions provided to private real estate developers. The prioritization of profit over community need has left a long-lasting legacy across New York, and communities of color have continued to face the brunt of it through displacement, housing instability, job loss, and health disparities. Communities and advocates have long said that these land use decisions have life and death consequences; we as a city are now forced to reckon with the consequences of those decisions in this moment.


Anonymous said...

Great JQ we need more of these stories on QC !

Anonymous said...

Part of the reason is that these hospitals had to foot the bill for illegals that couldn't afford their emergency treatment.

Jon said...

Anonymous, yes you blame illegals for everything but that isn't why this is happening.
That is not entirely accurate anyway, because hospitals can deduct these loses from their taxes.

Regardless, this country has a for profit health care system. Hospitals make money on elective surgeries. Hospitals in poor areas do not make enough money. People with money get better care even though it should not be that way. Hospitals close when they are not profitable.

There are 30 million uninsured AMERICANS. That number has increase in the last two years.
Why is that? Because health insurance is determine mostly by a person's job. It is too expensive for most people to buy on their own and the government hasn't decided to make it a priority to get everyone insured at an affordable rate.

Now, when people are losing their jobs and need the health insurance they don't have it. How stupid is that?

Rich hospitals are able to secure good doctors and get supplies. Poor hospitals get what is left over. Insurance companies can decide to not contract with certain hospitals because the hospital can not pay the rates Aetna or Blue Cross are demanding.

Instead of looking to blame look for solutions.

Anonymous said...

"Hospitals can deduct these loses from their taxes"
News Report - There is no free lunch !

Anonymous said...

500,000 undocumented living in Sanctary City’s 3rd World Boro, are behind a large part of the huge number of
dead. It will be interesting to find out names, addresses, and origins as this nightmare progresses.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with the report and have personally felt the impact of hospitals closing, I question the rush to exclaim that only black and illegal aliens are affected by it. What about the rest of us? Why is there no rush to publish reports on how whites are affected?

Anonymous said...

The blame should be put on the dysfunctional cultures that produce tons of poor needy people that swam here as well as the people that encouraged them. It not like 100 years ago where there were no programs, there are tons of programs costing us billions of dollars drained from the middle class.

Everyone knows what happens when you crowd poor people in basements and what happens when you encourage - indeed as the Dems have been doing - celebrate 3rd world 'be happy' cultures as they scorn and squeeze the tax payers who foot this bill.

Enough already! Most of us are descendants of the former 'trash' from around the world. We pulled ourselves up and made something of ourselves.

Anonymous said...

The Middle Class workers need to stick together and vote for the "RIGHT" person not the Party Line ! Look what happen in one party systems in New York and California.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comment:

The TRUTH about the COVID-19 tragedy in New York City is about the democrat " leadership " of the City and the State being more concerned with illegal aliens and criminal justice LENIENCY than to do their jobs about protecting the LEGAL CITIZEN tax payers .

Cuomo WILLINGLY refused to buy the neccessary supplies he was advised to by the CDC over 4 years ago in order to promote more liberal agendas on " green ideas " . Those Green Ideas led to the waste of several Hundreds OF MILLIONS of dollars for failed so called " green " companies . No " Green " goodies came from this but a lot of " GREENBACKS " wound up in the hands of someone and why isn't it being investigated ?

DeBlasio is also responsible for having a supply of medical goodies in his stock to be able to deal with sudden emergencies but of course he is pandering to certain unions pension plans and squandered the DISASTER funds on freeing criminals and harboring illegal aliens .
So this " disaster " is not Trump's Virus it is Andy and Billy's VIRUS DISASTER and all those deaths are on their HEADS . Andy and Billy can no longer use the " ventilator " card since they had more than enough when they were needed and are even sending them back . They also complained about a lack of " beds " so the Army corps of Engineers put up THOUSANDS of beds and most of them are EMPTY . HMM , more WASTE of taxpayer dollars .

I guess this is all Trump's fault especially since he refused to tell them NO when they CRIED on National TV for all this stuff that they didn't need . The highest taxed City and State in the nation and hte ongoing problems they have are the fault of the VOTERS in NY City and State and they deserve the blame for electing and then Re-Electing such incompetent " leadership " .

So who is really to blame for all the DEAD and the job losses - ? Look in the mirror ! The culprit will be looking right back at you . Question : Have you LEARNED your lesson yet - NEVER VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT AGAIN .

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The hospitals that closed did so due to bankruptcy caused by illegal criminal invaders using the hospital as their family doctor. They went to the ER for every cold, sprained ankle, etc., causing citizens to have to wait hours in ER waiting rooms until they could be seen, bringing new diseases to the U.S. and eventually causing the hospital to close, as the hospitals were not allowed to turn them away. Now that every hospital bed is critically needed, they aren't available. Hospitals across the U.S., especially in areas with high populations of illegal criminal invaders, have closed for the same reason.

Furthermore, the stupid POS masquerading as a mayor kept encouraging people to rent their basements and any other unoccupied real estate out, vastly increasing the population density of uninsured people with no knowledge of modern sanitary hygiene, creating a perfect breeding ground for epidemics.

Most citizen families have enough problems just providing for their own kids. But the dems have foisted a tremendous financial burden on us all--now you [involuntarily] pay multiple billions of dollars for illegals' food, housing, education, medical care, and legal aid to remain in a country in which they have absolutely no business, and contribute virtually nothing of any substance. And when there is a critical emergency situation, such as a pandemic killing thousands of people a day, you just can't afford to continue this suicidal practice. It eats up funds needed to take care of this country's CITIZENS, those people who worked hard and paid their tax dollars ostensibly to benefit their own cities, states, and country, redistributing their money to a bunch of illiterate disease-carrying parasites who flouted our laws to sneak into the country and attach themselves to the Uncle Sam teat. Lots of them, although they are not supposed to, are actually receiving precious Medicaid funds, for example. Your kids are doing without modern textbooks, and other school essentials, sitting (if they can find an actual chair to so do) in vastly overcrowded schools clogged with students who don't even belong there, let alone in this country. They are ILLEGALLY here.

Read it

Anyone who keeps voting in the open-border DEMOCRATS, who do not have the best interests of our country in mind, is just plain stupid.

Anonymous said...

"It will be interesting to find out names, addresses, and origins as this nightmare progresses"
You wont, most these illegals give the hospitals fake names and addresses.
They are also in horrible health to start with. Obesity, alcoholism and diabetes are big with this group.
They are ending up Hart Island.

The current Democrat "leadership" is the worst in New York's history, these people are worse then worse then California liberals

Anonymous said...

"Instead of looking to blame look for solutions"
LOL we all know the solution: THROW ALL THE ILLEGAL FREE LOADING MEGA-BREEDING LOCUST PEOPLE THE F_ OUT and stop inviting them here.
The problem is the liberal communists running our state and city don't want the solution.

Anonymous said...

”So who is really to blame for all the DEAD and the job losses”

There is plenty of blame for both sides. Cuomo and de Blasio failed to prepare. Trump failed to respond as evidence about the virus was piling up. Frankly both of these parties are abysmal and while we pick sides and blame each other, wealth is being transferred away from what is left of the middle class via these stimulus bills.

A house divided cannot stand. Until we stop blaming the “other” and wake up and realize it’s an economic fight not a racial fight, nothing will change.

Anonymous said...

Two key words are ILLEGAL and Liberalism !
They go togeter like Social Demorats & Marxist Pigs.

Anonymous said...

Liberals seem to hate this country so much because it is full of Americans.
They want to get rid of the Americans who work, pray, like freedom and know which bathroom to use.

Anonymous said...

Democratic incompetence cost lives in New York City, actively encouraging people to ride public transportation, attend parades, and patronize restaurants in the middle of a pandemic to show up the president.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget as well, something that the Mayor did not mention on his Bill Maher appearance this past Friday when he stated that asthma is very prevalent in lower income/people of color communities. He left out that those same communities have the huge polluting dumps in North Brooklyn, South Bronx and Queens. He left out that little detail that he or his predecessors dumped these places in those communities.

And no liberals don't hate this country, but both parties are to blame for LOTS OF SHIT.

Kriss kross said...

Hospitals close because they don’t make money . Insurance is too expensive for many people to afford . Hospitals in rural areas are closing too . States can’t force hospitals to stay open . You can’t have an effective healthcare system without affordable .

I’m not sure what that Democrat , liberal comment was about bathrooms and praying and liberals not liking America full of Americans . I pray for Satan everyday and I’m free to have gay sex with other Americans . Don’t you have the same freedoms ?

Anonymous said...

@Kriss kross said...
It may surprise you to know that since the doctor spanked me on the butt and proclaimed, "Congratulations, Mrs. Biden, it's a boy," I have survived for half a century without a single non-recreational genital inspection. I use the "Mens" Room !

Anonymous said...


If only it were that easy. The electorate here will vote blindly in droves for Democrats no matter what. It's the Curley Effect personified.

It is already mathematically impossible for a Republican to win statewide office. After the 2020 census redistricting it will also become mathematically impossible for Republicans to take back the state senate.

One party rule as far as the eye can see. The only option for upstate is secession.

Harry Bingham IV

Anonymous said...

@Harry Bingham IV "The only option for upstate is secession."
Drastic changes are comming Harry !

Anonymous said...

@Harry Bingham IV

Anonymous said...

Repurpose these “luxury” buildings as hospitals. We closed a bunch prior to COVID .
Use unoccupied ones as temporary morgues!
Sad! Money for ballistic missiles but not enough for medical! How do we feel being victims of fear and anger!

Anonymous said...

The density of Calcutta. “Luxury” living?
Elmhurst epicenter of the COVID world!
Nationalize lemony buildings!

Anonymous said...

And all of the property pimps...aka.....real estate brokers....,say they can’t make a living.

Anonymous said...

Correction: LUXURY not lemony buildings

Anonymous said...

My ex wife was a realtor owner,like most realtor when it's slow they become prostitutes just to keep money coming in,I Know,she even charged ME!!