Census Debacle Could Cost New York Billions

May 9, 2011  |  

(Crain’s) — American flags flew last week from one- and two-family brick homes with neatly manicured front yards in census tract 46, block 1,000 in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Bikes rested atop stoops, dogs barked from behind closed doors, and cars filled every parking space.  Despite these signs of life on 81st and 82nd streets between Third and Fourth avenues, the 2010 census recorded 53 vacant housing units there—52 more than in 2000.  Across the middle-class Brooklyn neighborhood, the census reported a 179% increase in empty units, to 4,118. But residents, real estate agents, the area’s councilman and city officials say that is not the reality on the ground.  “You can’t find any apartments for rent,” said George Yakobic, a broker associate at Century 21 DeMasi Realty in Bay Ridge. “They’re all occupied. There’s no way on earth that many houses are vacant.”

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