Thursday, May 27, 2010

Court Orders Hearing On Preliminary Injunction In Challenge To NY Housing Project

In Broadway Triangle Community Coalition v. Bloomberg, (Sup. Ct. NY, May 20, 2010), a New York state trial court ordered that a further hearing be held next month on a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop a housing development in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Plaintiffs claim that the city's selection in a no-bid process of a Hasidic Jewish organization to develop affordable housing, along with related rezoning, violates the Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. and New York Constitutions, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Federal Fair Housing Act, and the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws. The suit grows out of long-running tensions between the Hispanic and the Hasidic communities in the area. (See prior posting.) Plaintiffs challenge a preference to be given to residents in a community district that is largely white, and also claim that plans to build primarily large apartments and to avoid high-rise buildings will favor Hasidic Jews who will not use elevators on the Sabbath and who generally have large families. Plaintiffs want to increase the height of planned buildings and add smaller apartments (which are in great demand on the Public Housing Waiting List). The New York Times last week reported on the court's decision.