New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that her office has reached agreements with Orange County and the Town of Chester to end their use of discriminatory housing practices that were designed to prevent members of the Jewish community from moving to Chester, New York. The agreements mandate that the county and the town comply with the Fair Housing Act and take preventative measures to ensure equitable housing practices moving forward.
“The discriminatory and illegal actions perpetrated by Orange County and the Town of Chester are blatantly antisemitic, and go against the diversity, inclusivity, and tolerance that New York prides itself on,” said Attorney General James. “Every New Yorker deserves equal opportunities in housing, regardless of gender, race, nationality, or their faith. Today and every day, I stand with all communities against hate and discrimination, which will not be tolerated in New York state.”
In May 2020, Attorney General James intervened in lawsuit filed by the developers of the “The Greens at Chester,” alleging that the town and county engaged in a concerted and systematic effort to prevent Hasidic Jewish families from moving to Chester by blocking the construction of a housing development. The original lawsuit, filed in July 2019, outlined countless discriminatory and unnecessary actions that Chester and Orange County took to stop the homes from being built in order to prevent Jewish families from purchasing and occupying them — gross violations of the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act dictates that it is unlawful for anyone to refuse to sell or rent a dwelling based on an individual’s religion, race, sex, national origin, or familial status, among other protected classes.
In October 2017, the developers of The Greens purchased a 117-acre property in the Town of Chester in Orange County, New York, which had been fully approved for residential development under the ownership of the previous developer. Since the purchase of the property in 2017, officials from the town repeatedly sought to block development of the site and openly expressed discriminatory intent to block the development at public town meetings — explicitly referencing their desire to keep Hasidic families out of the community.
Read the complete article at: ag.ny.org