New York's Attorney General took action to stop alleged discriminatory housing practices in Orange County.

Attorney General Letitia James announced she took action to fight alleged discriminatory housing practices that the Town of Chester and Orange County have utilized to prevent members of the Jewish community from moving to Chester.

Attorney General James filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against the Town of Chester and Orange County alleging that they have engaged in a concerted and systematic effort to prevent Hasidic Jewish families from moving to Chester by blocking the construction of a housing development.

The original lawsuit, filed in July 2019, by the developers of the “The Greens at Chester,” outlined countless discriminatory and unnecessary actions that Chester and Orange County have taken to stop the homes from being built in order to prevent Jewish families from purchasing and occupying them, gross violations of the Fair Housing Act, officials say.

“Blocking the construction of homes to prevent a religious group from living in a community is flat out discriminatory,” James said in a press release. “This campaign to deny housing to members of the Jewish community is not only a clear violation of our laws, but is antithetical to our basic values and blatantly anti-Semitic. New York has a longstanding commitment to ensure equal housing opportunities for all residents – regardless of race, gender, or religious identity – and we will ensure this commitment is upheld.”

Since The Greens’ purchased a 117-acre property in the Town of Chester in October 2017, officials from both Orange County and the Town of Chester have repeatedly sought to block the development of the site and have openly expressed discriminatory intent to block the development at public town meetings, explicitly referencing their desire to keep Hasidic families out of their community, according to the Attorney General's Office.

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