New York State Attorney General Letitia James. AP Photo / Richard Drew, File
The New York State Attorney General’s Office announced on Friday that it had reached deals with Orange County and the City of Chester to end their use of what the AG’s office says are discriminatory housing practices designed to prevent members of the Orthodox Jewish community from relocating to Chester, N.Y.
The city had sought to block a housing estate known as The Greens at Chester which was supported by a group of Brooklyn business partners identified by local authorities. Herald of Records like Yehuda Landau, Samuel Landau, Lipe Meisels, Alter Bittman, Yanke Rochlitz and Yoel Goldman.
The partners listed their business address at 65 Steuben St., near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
In October 2017, developers at The Greens purchased a 117-acre property in Chester, which had been fully approved for residential development under the previous developer’s ownership. In 2018, News 12 said the development “is expected to attract thousands of new Brooklyn neighbors.”
The AG’s office accused that “since purchasing the property in 2017, city officials have repeatedly sought to block development of the site and have openly expressed their discriminatory intention to block development in meetings. public authorities in the city – making explicit reference to their desire to keep Hasidic families out. from the community.
In addition, according to the office of the GA, the city passed a law to restrict the size of houses that could be built “with the aim of making them uninhabitable for families.” The city has also put forward proposals to levy additional development taxes, limit construction hours at the site, and require the developer to provide personal information of its management partners to local officials. In addition, the city also demanded that a new sewer line be diverted.
In 2019, as the controversy unfolded, the developer-backed “A Better Chester” Facebook page posted: “Contrary to a lingering myth, the Greens in Chester are not a development exclusively” for Hasidic Jews. ” As we’ve said many times before, ANYONE interested in buying a quality home with modern finishes, amenities and open space is welcome to the Greens.
In May 2020, Attorney General Letitia James intervened in the lawsuit brought by the developers of The Greens in Chester, alleging that the city and county are engaged in a concerted and systematic effort to prevent Hasidic Jewish families from moving to Chester by blocking the construction of a housing estate.
“The discriminatory and illegal actions perpetrated by Orange County and the City of Chester are blatantly anti-Semitic and run counter to the diversity, inclusiveness and tolerance of which New York is proud,” said AG James .
The deals announced on Friday require Orange County and the City of Chester to adopt numerous policies to enforce fair housing regulations, including:
- Full compliance with Fair Housing Law;
- Adopt awareness-raising measures that disseminate information on equitable housing to communities;
- Administer fair housing trainings to county and city employees working in housing or planning;
- Appoint a Fair Housing Compliance Officer; and
- Document and report all housing discrimination complaints to the Attorney General’s office.
“Not everyone understands the gravity and pervasiveness of prejudice against Hasidic Jews,” said Rabbi Chaim David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America, who attended Brooklyn College and New York. York Law School. “Not everyone appreciates that the growth of the Hasidic community is a cause for celebration, not discrimination.”