Our decade-long Broadway Triangle litigation set precedent citywide in demonstrating how City rezonings are proceeding in violation of New York’s legal obligation to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH), perpetuating residential segregation in violation of fair housing laws. The Broadway Triangle is the largest plot of vacant land in Brooklyn available for affordable housing. In 2009, the City rezoned the area for residential development but did so in a way that systematically excluded countless low-income families of color in Williamsburg and Bedford Stuyvesant in desperate need of affordable housing.
Communities Resist represents the 40-organization Broadway Triangle Community Coalition, which successfully sued the City over this rezoning under the federal Fair Housing Act. In 2012, the Coalition, along with our co-counsel, the New York Civil Liberties Union and Emery Celli Brinckerhoff and Abady LLP, secured a preliminary injunction when the Court found that the City’s housing plans violated the Fair Housing Act. After a long struggle, in December 2017, we achieved a precedent-setting settlement with the City of New York that will bring nearly 400 units of permanent, integrated, and truly affordable housing to the area in the next few years, as well as first of its kind, city-funded fair housing services for local residents of color — all under the leadership of our clients.
The sad truth is that what happened in the Broadway Triangle will replay itself across Brooklyn and throughout New York City unless the City of New York drastically changes its approach to working with neighborhoods, especially communities of color. Community voices must be centered in the decisions that impact their lives and neighborhoods. Our litigation has revealed systemic problems with fair housing compliance by NYC when it comes to rezonings.