New York City outsider - Restriction policy challenged

July 07, 2015
The Anti-Discrimination Center (ADC), acting on behalf of three African-American plaintiffs, is challenging New York City’s policy of barring City residents who live outside the community district in which affordable housing is being built from competing on an equal basis for all available units. The complaint was filed in federal district court in Manhattan today.
     New York City remains the second-most residentially segregated major city in the country, within one of the most segregated major metropolitan areas in the U.S. The patterns of segregation in New York City are unmistakable, and arose from decades of intentional discrimination and segregation.
     The segregation extends to the community district level. Because of this, the City’s policy in connection with half of the units in a development — favoring existing community district residents and disfavoring New Yorkers who live outside the community district — winds up helping the dominant racial or ethnic group in the community district and hurting those groups who are underrepresented in the community district. In other words, the City has long started with mostly segregated community districts and has then put in place a process that tips the scales in favor of the status quo.