Turn the corner on 145th Street in Jamaica, Queens, and it is as though a cyclone has wheeled through.
One resident, Lakisha Brown, a hospital worker and mother of two, snatched her house back from foreclosure last month, if only temporarily. “We need to sell fast,” she says. “I’m just trying to save what’s left of my credit.” Across the street in this black middle-class neighborhood, Patrick Nicholas, a surgical technician in blue scrubs, shakes his dreadlocks and shrugs. He rents but is moving out. “The owner got foreclosed and told us to leave,” he says.