The two areas selected—one in Jackson Heights and the other in the Briarwood/Jamaica section of Queens—have very different housing stock characteristics, zoning, and histories of development. What makes the communities similar is that more than 55 percent of their populations are foreign-born, local schools are at or above 100 percent utilization, and overcrowding is a significant issue. In the Jackson Heights survey area, more than 41 percent of homes surveyed had received a complaint related to an illegal conversion; and in the Briarwood neighborhood nearly 17 percent had. And finally, both communities have been greatly affected by an increasing number of mortgage delinquencies and defaults related to the housing market turbulence.
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