City Stories

Bronx, NY

bronx ghetto

The Bronx Ghetto

A Break Down of Bronx Neighborhoods

The story within the Bronx neighborhoods tells the story of the Bronx black history and the start of the Bronx Latino population within the Dominican and Puerto Rican community.

The streets of the Bronx, which had once made nationwide headlines for the large amount of crime, has changed with decreasing crime rates as New York City laws have become much stricter.

south bronx ghetto north bronx neighborhoods

Courtesy of The All-Nite Images/Flickr

Today’s problem of the neighborhoods in the Bronx is the rise in rent and mortgages, even though only 19% of the population has home ownership.

Gentrification, mostly in a section that has an average income of $35,000 and home values above the state’s average, is slowly repeating history with black and Latino residents slowly moving out of their community.


History of The Bronx Neighborhoods

Long after the borough of the Bronx was created during the late 1800s and early 1900s, many white families, after World War II, began to leave their neighborhoods of South and North Bronx for the suburbs and other boroughs.*

Slum clearance in nearby Manhattan helped black families, as well as Latinos who were mostly Puerto Rican, to eventually move into the communities of the South Bronx and later into the North Bronx.*

An important fact on how the Bronx ghetto came about is during the 1940s is the city’s rent control policy that was introduced to keep rent from rising during World War II as many apartments were vacant due to the tenants fighting in the war.

South Bronx site of the 1980 “People’s Convention” in opposition to the Democratic Party’s nominating convention downtown. Courtesy Mel Rosenthal/Flickr

Years later, the ability of not being able to raise the rent prevented landlords from having building repairs and led to many rundown apartment buildings and the practice of arson by tenants and building owners.*

For the building owners, they would receive insurance money while the residents would use the city’s policy of being able to receive public housing as well as money for their apartment catching on fire.*

Outside of places like Morris Park and the Riverdale area, most communities are home to New York City’s African-American, West Indian and Latino population.


North Bronx Neighborhoods

Today, most of the black community is located in the North Bronx community, north of Gun Hill Road, in the northeastern section of the Bronx.

Much of the South Bronx is mostly Latino, with many black families living throughout numerous of South Bronx neighborhoods.

south bronx ghetto north bronx neighborhoods

Courtesy of The All-Nite Images/Flickr

The North Bronx ghetto has areas like Gun Hill, White Plains Road, Co-Op City, Edenwald, Boston Secor, and Allerton, which has its own communities of Pelham Parkway, Eastchester Gardens, and Parkside Projects.

The North Bronx did not change until the 1960s and 1970s as African-Americans from Harlem and West Indians during the 1980s (Caribbean’s) relocated into the community.

East Bronx Neighborhoods

The heart of the East Bronx ghetto is mainly south of Interstate 278, but ‘hoods go as far as Tremont Avenue.

Some of New York City’s most legendary neighborhoods are in the East Bronx like Soundview, Castle Hill, Throggs Neck, Bronxdale (now Sotomayer Houses), Sack Wern, and Bronx River.

South Bronx Neighborhoods

The birthplace of Hip-Hop, South Bronx has influenced people from all walks of life with the community’s reputation being one of the biggest in the country, especially during the days between the 1970s and 1990s.

south bronx ghetto north bronx neighborhoods

Courtesy of The All-Nite Images/Flickr

The streets of today’s South Bronx ghetto have areas like FlyBridge (Highbridge), Shiesty Ave (Sheridan Ave), MAG (Morris Ave), Dub City, and the projects from Patterson to the Morris Projects.

In the beginning the South Bronx was home to Jewish and European families, but later became one of the country’s largest Puerto Rican community, along with a large Dominican presence.

Unfortunately, the process of gentrification is slowly transforming the South Bronx ghetto due to the community’s valuable location of a close vicinity to the borough of Manhattan.


Check out more of the communities in the state of New York

Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research.  Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.

Images provided by All-Nite Images

*Past History of the Bronx:  Jackson, Kenneth. Hermalyn, Gary D. Ultan, Lloyd.  ”The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition”. New Haven. Yale University. 2010. pg 160-164