The last few days, I have been walking the streets of Crown Heights, Brooklyn and drinking copious amounts of coffee as I somewhat aimlessly sought to secure a place for my family and I to live when we move up here on April 1.
I knew the layout of the land was more competitive in regards to getting approved. The demographics of Crown Heights is slowly-but-surely changing. The traditionally-known Caribbean and minority families whom have tended to be lower-income are getting weeded out. How? Gentrification at its best. Crown Heights is beginning to shift into a neighborhood for young professionals, college students and graduates, and people whom either have a lot of money or who’s parents/connections do.
Those who live in the neighborhood have to either stay where they’re at, or move out, as the process to get approved for a new apartment in the neighborhood has drastically changed.
You need great credit. Any blemishes will require a guarantor who has great credit AND makes 80 x’s 1-year’s total rent. So, when a month’s rent is about 2,000 on average, you need someone making 160k/year to sign for you. You’d be hard pressed to find minorities in the hood with friends like that in their circle of influence.
The landlords are at the front line of this shift, as they are taking advantage of the increasing attractiveness of the western parts of the neighborhood (which is also progressing easterly), and have meticulously raised rent to turn profits.
In 5 years, Crown Heights will be the next Park Slope.
I saw 15 different apartments while I was here. I walked almost 17 miles in three days. I used about 1.5Gb of data on my phone. I text and spoke to approximately 30-35 different people. All asked about me and my family. All gave approval requirements. All said the same thing.
“It’s not even worth applying. You won’t get approved.”
The challenge is choosing to continue trusting in the Sovereignty of the One who called us. We know what God said. He simply said GO. We’ve “GONE” in our lives before. Foolishly, we always have a desire that the next thing God asked could come with less drama and heartache.
The truth is, it would be very easy to turn away and say “forget it.” The challenges before us are seemingly insurmountable. We won’t have a place to move “TO” (yet)… the provision isn’t “THERE” (yet). It’s very easy to see what ISN’T there and walk away.
… and in our human condition, that’s the easiest thing to do… because doing so is the quickest way to avoid the pain.
But we cling… we can’t say we always hold on, because sometimes we don’t even have all of the strength to… sometimes all you can do is cling.. cling to that one thing that reminds you that God called you, and that God knows, and that God will make a way… and at that moment, all of the mountains fade into an abyss of God’s miraculous provision.