Judge: city housing plan boosts segregation

A state judge has ruled that a planned Brooklyn housing development would violate federal law and increase segregation in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Amsterdam News reports that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is planning to appeal the decision of state judge Emily Goodman:

Before the trial, the project would have given priority to people who live in Community District 1 (a predominantly white section of Williamsburg) at the expense of Bedford-Stuyvesant residents or Community Board 3 (a predominantly Black neighborhood). Only 3 percent of the residents in the new building would have been Black, while Bed-Stuyvesant is 77 percent Black overall.

Goodman decided that the plan violated federal law since such a large portion of the apartments would have benefited one particular racial group and not the dominant group currently residing in the community.

In the case of Broadway Triangle Community Coalition v. Michael Bloomberg et al., the plaintiffs-made up of a coalition of community organizations like the Bushwick Housing Independence Project, Brooklyn Legal Services and churches of various faiths-argued that the city, under federal law, had to perform a racial analysis in order to receive federal housing funds to construct the property.

Justice Emily Goodman granted the injunction on plaintiffs’ claims under the Fair Housing Act. “There can be no compliance with the Fair Housing Act where defendants never analyzed the impact of the community preference,” said Goodman in her decision. She also said that the plaintiffs had demonstrated the possibility that they would succeed on the merits of the case if it ever went to trial.

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