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Lawsuit Says Affordable Housing Lotteries Enforce Segregation

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A lawsuit filed against New York City by the nonprofit Anti-Discrimination Center claims that the city is violating the federal Fair Housing Act and the city's Human Rights Law by giving preference in affordable housing lotteries to people who already live in the area. The practice perpetuates residential segregation, the group says, acting as a barrier against people from low-income black and Latino communities from moving into predominantly white areas. "In establishing, maintaining and expanding its outsider-restriction policy, the city ignored the negative impact on families in the city who live in racially concentrated areas of poverty," the lawsuit says.

As for the arguments in favor of the policy, the Wall Street Journal, predictably obtuse on anything having to do with race, is happy to provide some, claiming that it helps to prevent gentrification (you know, gentrification, that thing that happens when a bunch of poor people move into a neighborhood) and that it allows affordable housing developments to gain neighborhood support more easily (fair). The Journal also finds, quotes, and photographs three residents of Cypress Hills, East New York, and Bushwick, who say that they would like to stay where they are because that's where their families live, apparently proving that residential segregation isn't a big deal and everybody loves it.
· New York City Is Sued Over Lotteries Used for Subsidized Housing [NYT]
· Group Challenges New York City on Housing Allocations [WSJ]
· Affordable Housing Lottery coverage [Curbed]