City defends community preference in affordable housing

De Blasio administration files motion to dismiss discrimination lawsuit

Zachary Carter Bill de Blasio
From left: Zachary Carter and Bill de Blasio

Is it discrimination to reserve 50 percent of new affordable housing units for local residents? The de Blasio administration thinks not.

The city filed a motion in U.S. District Court to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to end community preference, which argues the practice excludes African-American and Latino resident and reinforces de facto segregation.

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“This preference serves to bar city residents living outside of the community district from competing on an equal basis for all available units,” the three African-American plaintiffs wrote in the lawsuit, which cited the federal Fair Housing Act and the city’s Human Rights Law, Politico reported.

Administration lawyer Zachary Carter defended the practice, criticizing the plaintiff’s statistical arguments and pointing out that community preference would remain as part of New York State’s 421a tax abatement. [Politico]Ariel Stulberg

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