City Council member claims Brooklyn Triangle developments favoring Hasidim

Council Member Diana Reyna and Broadway Triangle
Council Member Diana Reyna and Broadway Triangle

City Council member Diana Reyna, joined by a local community group, claimed in a press conference at City Hall today that two new residential buildings at Broadway Triangle in Williamsburg are improperly allocating apartments to Hasidic Jewish residents, to the detriment of African-Americans and Latinos who live in the neighborhood, the New York Daily News reported.

The buildings — located at 70 Union Avenue and 246 Lynch Street — are fully occupied by Hasidim, they said.

The city rezoned the 31-acre area in 2009 to allow for the construction of 1,800 housing units, though last year a New York State Supreme Court judge granted an injunction against the plan, citing evidence of discrimination. However, the injunction covered work at only 20 percent of the spread.

Reyna and The Broadway Triangle Community Coalition charged that the rezoning has only catered to Hasidic residents.

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“We want a rezoning that serves the entire community and does not continue patterns of racial segregation that the city has promoted and allowed,” Marty Needelman, a lawyer for the coalition, told the Daily News.

The group said that they sent both Latino and African-American volunteers to apply for housing at the two new buildings, but the individuals were told that no applications were available before they were turned away.

The City Denied That Discrimination Is Taking Place, contending that the zoning was solely aimed at the development of low-rise buildings.

“The allegations about the city’s plan are wildly off-base,” a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Law told the Daily News. “The proposed development plan will help meet the community’s affordable housing needs while preserving the neighborhood’s mid-rise physical scale.” [NYDN]Zachary Kussin