Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Housing Crisis in Orthodoxy

Don't you just hate it when you have a topic which you want to blog, but you keep on getting dragged out into side topics?

Following up on my earlier Lakewood post & JH's current obsession with Waterbury, one of the major crises facing all Orthodox Jewish communities is a lack of affordable housing. Why is this becoming a crisis in the past few years? I do not know for certain, but I have some suggestions.

1) I noted earlier the need for Orthodox Jews to live in major cities. In the past fews years, mid-size cities Orthodox Jewish communities have been emptying out with children moving to larger communities. (Greater mobility, b/c with more education they have greater employment possibilities, etc.)

2) In the post-1967 rise in Jewish identity, Baal Teshuva, etc. Orthodox Jews began having many more children. These children have reached the stage to buy houses and therefore there is more demand.

3) Fewer communities have affordable houses. And when a community becomes "hot", (e.g. Passaic, Lakewood, Monsey, Teaneck) housing is quickly snapped up.

Therefore people are looking farther and farther into suburbia for the "next" Jewish community. Hence Philadelphia, Waterbury, etc.

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