Morris Heights is located in the West Bronx about 45 minutes from Manhattan. Elevated and hilly terrain dominates the neighborhood, and stair streets connect areas located at different elevations. The vast majority of residences are renter-occupied, and after a wave of arson ravaged the community during the 1970s, many if not most residential structures in Morris Heights were left heavily damaged or destroyed. The city began to rehabilitate many formerly abandoned apartment buildings and designated them as low-income housing in the late 1970s. Many subsidized attached multi-unit townhouses and newly constructed apartment buildings have been built on vacant lots across the neighborhood. The neighborhood of Morris Heights is believed to be the area where hip-hop culture originated during the 1970s.