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New York AG: Town agrees to end biased housing practices

Last Updated Jun 18, 2021 at 2:30 pm MDT

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Attorney General Letitia James said Friday she’s reached an agreement with a Hudson Valley town and county to end discriminatory housing practices she says were designed to keep Hasidic Jewish families from moving in.

James said the agreement require Orange County and the town of Chester to comply with the Fair Housing Act and to take preventative measures to ensure equitable housing practices moving forward.

The agreement comes two years after James intervened in a developer’s lawsuit against the town and county governments over their handling of plans for a 431-home community in the town about 60 miles (96 kilometers) north of midtown Manhattan.

Government officials said they had legitimate concerns about the Greens at Chester project regarding infrastructure and building codes, but James said that was an excuse for “a concerted, systematic effort” to stop the project and keep Hasidic Jewish families out.

Messages seeking comment were left with county and town representatives.

“The discriminatory and illegal actions perpetrated by Orange County and the Town of Chester are blatantly anti-Semitic, and go against the diversity, inclusivity, and tolerance that New York prides itself on,” James said in a statement.

The Associated Press