7. East New York

Dom's apartment in East New YorkPhoto: MARNI GROSSMAN/NETFLIX © 2020

Dom lives in East New York, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Brooklyn on the border near Queens. As of 2018, 30% of the population lived under the poverty line — 9% higher than the rest of the borough. The community faces a significant rent burden with 52% of the population reporting difficulty paying rent. This is the reality that Dom faces and her family’s financial struggle becomes a significant plot point in Grand Army.

Frequently the subject of potential rezonings, a rezoning was approved in 2016 but four years later, there has been concern about whether the promises to the community are being made. In a 2020 article in City Limits, Alexa Sloan, organizing member of the Coalition for Community Advancement: Progress for Cypress Hills and East New York stated, “The city has fallen short on a lot of the promises that were to come through for the East New York rezone. The city unlocked the density and height requirements and that allowed for a lot of interest in real-estate speculation and development for East New York.”