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Eastchester faces suit over affordable housing bias allegationsPosted: Updated:
The Town of Eastchester is facing a lawsuit that claims the town's policy on affordable housing discriminates against minorities.
The Elide Manor complex for seniors in Tuckahoe is set to open in the coming months. Eastchester seniors are the first ones on the list to be considered for the 18 affordable units in the 119-unit building. Anyone else living outside of Eastchester would move to the back of the list.
That has housing advocates saying not so fast. Housing advocates say the policy of municipalities giving preferences to their residents in federally-funded projects is discrimination. So, the Fair Housing Justice Center has filed a lawsuit against Eastchester, arguing that the preferences effectively exclude people of color from federally financed housing.
Alexander Roberts, of Community Housing Innovations, says Eastchester is 85 percent white and two percent African-American. He says the town is rigging the system and basically preventing minorities from moving to the area.
The lawyer for the town of Eastchester, tells News 12 the town is fighting the lawsuit because officials believe their policy around preferences for residents is legal under federal housing law.
Other towns in Westchester that faced similar suits ended up settling the cases and doing away with the preference policy.