Posted on December 5, 2017
City to Settle Discrimination Claim in Brooklyn Housing Plan
New York City agrees to alter a housing plan after residents sued alleging that it fostered racial segregation https://t.co/B63Y50ROjD
— J. David Goodman (@jdavidgoodman) December 4, 2017
An eight-year legal fight over racial discrimination by New York City in a proposed Brooklyn development is expected to be settled on Monday, after community groups and the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed on a new affordable housing plan. The court battle, which began in 2009, concerned city-owned land in a triangular area at the border of Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Bushwick. These neighborhoods are rapidly gentrifying with large communities of Hasidic, Hispanic, and black residents. The settlement, to be filed on Monday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, would result in the creation of around 375 units of affordable housing for some of the poorest New Yorkers at the so-called Broadway Triangle. It would give preference to residents from a broader and more diverse area than originally proposed, and include investment in counseling and legal representation for local residents who believe they were discriminated against. Shekar Krishnan, a lawyer with Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A which represents the plaintiffs, believes the settlement can have an impact beyond north Brooklyn. “It comes at a critical moment with all these rezonings by the de Blasio administration in low-income communities of color,” he said. Alexandra Fennell, one of the plaintiffs and a member of Churches United for Fair Housing believes “this lawsuit shows that the city is required to affirmatively further fair housing and not exacerbate segregation.” She continued by saying, “This just reaffirms for us that if we don’t study the racial impacts of proposed rezoning we are doomed to further segregation.” The plaintiffs were also represented by Arthur Eisenberg of the New York Civil Liberties Union, and Diane L. Houk of the law firm of Emery Celli Brinkerhoff and Abady.