Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Judge considers Broadway Triangle lawsuit

From the NY Times:

A Manhattan judge has scheduled a hearing next month to determine whether the city’s plan to develop public housing in a rundown patch of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, would essentially foster segregation.

In a 22-page decision issued on Thursday, the judge, Emily Jane Goodman of State Supreme Court, indicated that there might be some merit in claims that the city’s plan to construct public housing in what is known as the Broadway Triangle could have a discriminatory effect.

A coalition of community groups in Williamsburg said the city and its allies charged forward with the plan without a competitive bidding process and without including a largely nonwhite group that would be affected by the project. The city awarded development bids to two nonprofit groups, the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, which represents part of the fast-growing Hasidic community, and the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council.

Although units in the housing projects would be awarded in a lottery, the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition, which filed a lawsuit to stop the project, said the project was zoned to allow primarily white and Hasidic residents to obtain units.

For example, residents of the predominantly white Community Board 1 area would be given first choice on half of the units, according to Justice Goodman’s decision. (The entire development would be within the Community Board 1 boundaries, but part of the Broadway Triangle lies in the mostly nonwhite Community Board 2 area, the judge wrote.)

The zoning calls for buildings that are six or seven stories high, a move opponents said was intended to accommodate Hasidics, who cannot use elevators on the Sabbath for religious reasons. The plans also call for large apartments, which opponents said would also accommodate Hasidics, who typically have large families.


Anonymous said...

It's more than just racism when government facilitates and effectively finances construction of an entire new neighborhood to cater to a particular religious group. What about seperation of Church and State?

Queens Crapper said...

It's called TWEEDING.

Anonymous said...

Horrible. Bloomberg is driving us put and yet subsidizing with our money is people. Blah.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the 21th century's first Jewish ghetto. Perhaps it can be named Theresienstadt Triangle

Anonymous said...

This type of discrimination has been going on for decades. I'm overwhelmed to know that finally it has come to the attention of the courts.

Anonymous said...

Why is it racism when the city subsidizes low income housing in a low-income neighborhood? It is only fair that %50 of the housing should go to the neighborhood where the structure will be built because that neighborhood as a whole will have to bear the burden of new residents without new infrastructure (such as transportation). Choosing to build a smaller building that fits in with the neighborhood instead of an enormous tower is pretty weak evidence of discrimination. And finally, what is wrong with considering the needs of orthodox Jews when designing the building? It is more than likely that many of the new residents will be orthodox Jews.