Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s slap at Williamsburg hipsters was even more ill-informed than we realized: It turns out gentrification has increased the ’hood’s Hispanic population.
The 2005 rezoning of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg waterfront sparked growth. Since 2007, the neighborhood has gained more than 12,000 new homes — including 2,000-plus new income-restricted units and over 1,000 affordable units preserved.
And, contra AOC, the rezoned area now has more Hispanic residents, city data show — reversing a trend of decline since 1990. Oh, and Williamsburg hasn’t seen a drop in the number of lower-income households.
Since the recession’s end, the area has seen 11,000 new jobs, outpacing the citywide rate of job growth, reports the Department of City Planning. That includes reversing the area’s long loss of manufacturing jobs — the very work that attracted previous generations of Puerto Ricans to Williamsburg.
The newcomers dissed by AOC have sparked growth and new vitality — as immigrants (even domestic ones) so often do.