Town of Bedford says it is settling housing discrimination suit

Posted: Updated:
BEDFORD -

The town of Bedford says it is settling a lawsuit over alleged housing discrimination.

The suit is connected to a long-standing zoning code in the town that critics say favors whites over blacks for middle-income housing.

The 1980 zoning code allegedly discriminates against African-Americans and favors whites in its middle-income affordable housing program.

The New York City-based civil rights group Fair Housing Justice Center sued the town, calling the program, which gives affordable housing preference to police, firefighters, teachers and other civil servants in Bedford, "unfair."

Statistically, workers in those fields are more likely to be white.

Bedford Town Attorney Joel Sachs says an agreement is on the way, and that the lawsuit against the town will likely be settled out of court in the next 60 to 90 days. He adds that the zoning code was put in place to give workers in critical jobs the opportunity to live in the town where they worked.

As part of the effort to level the housing playing field, new construction to create more affordable housing units is in full swing.

A spokeswoman for the Fair Housing Justice Center declined to confirm whether settlement talks are taking place. She says there is no out-of-court settlement agreement on the table so far.

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