Bronx foreclosed homes for sale have been surging in all types of neighborhoods in the borough because of job loss.
According to nonpartisan research group Fiscal Policy Institute, the northern part of Bronx and the southeastern portion of Queens have suffered the highest rates of job loss over the past couple of years.
James Parrott, chief economist and deputy chief of the think tank, said that nearly 50 percent of all New York residents work in small businesses and medium-size enterprises and when these businesses fall into difficult situations, it is hard for them to recover, leaving their employees suddenly without jobs.
In the third quarter last year, the jobless rate in the Bronx reached 13 percent, the highest rate in New York City. With most of its population unskilled and without required educational qualifications, Bronx has long been suffering from high jobless rates. Most of these have been living in public housing structures for so long.
In the northern part of Bronx, populated mostly by working class and middle class families, the jobless rate was a little bit lower in the third quarter – 12.2 percent. Nevertheless, the rate marked a jump of over 200 percent compared to the jobless rate in 2007, pushing upwards the number of Bronx foreclosed homes for sale in middle class communities.
In northern Bronx, where middle class households are supposed to be financially strong enough to avoid mortgage defaults, foreclosures have climbed up compared to 2008 filings. The sharp rise in small-business failures, in cases of illegal lease of basements and bedrooms and in court petitions filed by landlords seeking unpaid rents all are signs showing the kind of economic conditions that turn mortgages into pre foreclosures.
Even residents who have years of working experiences could not find work. Gregory Ramsden, who has been working in restaurants and teaching English to foreign-language speakers for years and has been earning $50,000 per year, now is willing to clean toilets just to avoid eviction.
Since August 2008, the city of New York has cut 144,000 jobs, hitting the 10-percent unemployment rate in November. But the jobless rate is much worse in several areas of the city, such as Bronx, and in communities that have never experienced severe levels of joblessness and large numbers of distressed properties.