Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Suit Says Housing Discrimination Based On Family Size Is Religious Discrimination Against Orthodox Jews

A lawsuit was filed yesterday in a New York federal district court by a couple who claim that the city's public housing rules which effectively limit the size of families that are eligible for apartments through the affordable housing lottery operate to discriminate against Orthodox Jewish families. The complaint (full text) in Katz v. New York City Housing Preservation & Development, (SD NY, filed 4/6/2021) alleges:

Plaintiffs and their family members have a sincerely held religious belief that having a large family is both an obligation and a blessing from God....

Orthodox Jewish families are at an inherent disadvantage in applying for affordable housing lotteries, because even the average family, with 4.1 children, would exceed the maximum family size requirement of 6 individuals.

Plaintiffs allege that the policy violates city, state and federal anti-discrimination laws as well as the 1st Amendment.   AP reports on the lawsuit.