New York attorney general joins lawsuit against Town of Chester over Hasidic development

NEW YORK – Saying efforts to block The Greens at Chester from developing housing for Hasidic Jewish families is “blatantly anti-Semitic,” State Attorney General Letitia James has filed a motion to intervene in the developers’ lawsuit against the Town of Chester and Orange County.

The suit alleges those governmental entities have engaged in a concerted and systematic effort to prevent Hasidic families from moving to Chester by blocking the construction of the housing development.

“Blocking the construction of homes to prevent a religious group from living in a community is flat out discriminatory,” said James. “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.”

James said 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.”

In October 2017, The Greens purchased a 117-acre parcel in the Town of Chester, which had been approved for residential development under the ownership of the previous developer. A federal lawsuit maintains that since The Greens’ purchased the land, there have been repeated efforts to block development on the site and the town and county 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.

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