Sunday, December 28, 2014

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NY1 examines the results and the repercussions of the 2010 U.S. Census in each borough.

Making Census Of It: Dominican Dominance In Washington Heights Slowly Changes

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The "Making Census of It" series continues with a look at the changing face of the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. NY1's Shazia Khan filed the following report.

Washington Heights has long been the hub for Dominican New Yorkers, going as far back as the mid-1960s. But 2010 census results show the population is slowly starting to shift, as a growing number of Asians and other groups begin to move in.

"Northern Manhattan is also an area where young professional whites have been settling, so there has been a certain amount of competition for real estate up there," says Director John Mollenkopf of the CUNY Center of Urban Research.

Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a former teacher, also sees a more diverse Latino presence in the area he now represents.

"When we had most of the students close to 100 percent in the classroom being Dominicans, what I have experienced now is that there has been a decrease of Dominican students and there has been an increase in South American, Mexican, Colombian," says Rodriguez.

Still, the vast majority of "the Heights" remains Dominican, but the neighborhood did experience a loss of 15,000 people in a decade.
There is concern about a possible undercount, but some elected officials say it is hard to ignore the lack of affordable housing in the area, forcing many to look outside the borough.

"When the Section 8 [housing vouchers] was issued to many tenants in this neighborhood that have been waiting for it for over a decade, many of the landlords did not accept section 8 here," says State Senator Adriano Espaillat. "So some of those folks had to move out to to the Bronx because the landlords in the Bronx accepted Section 8."

The loss in residents also shows a population growing up and in some cases moving out.

"Daughters and sons of these Dominican families are now in their 20s and have moved on to other neighborhoods or gone away to school, but their parents are still here and they're still holding on to those leases and they're still very much a deep-rooted part of this community," says Espaillat.

Now, a more mixed population calls the neighborhood home. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP