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Village Reaches Settlement in Housing Discrimination Case

8-year-old case settled; village agrees to build new affordable housing.

The village has agreed to settle the 8-year-old lawsuit and attempt to replace 54 affordable housing units over the next decade.
The village has agreed to settle the 8-year-old lawsuit and attempt to replace 54 affordable housing units over the next decade.

The Village of Farmingdale has reached an agreement in an 8-year-old federal law suit alleging the village engaged in housing discrimination against members of Farmingdale's Latino community.

The settlement, reached on the eve of jury selection in the trial set for Federal Court in Brooklyn, was announced Monday jointly by the Hofstra Law Clinic and the village. The statement says the settlement lays out a "framework for affordable housing development in the Village of Farmingdale."

That case was brought under the Fair Housing Act in 2006 by the Hofstra Law Clinic on behalf of nine Latino residents who were displaced from their homes  when Fairfield Properties redeveloped 150 Secatogue Ave. Many of its residents were Latinos.

The Commack firm redeveloped the building into upscale apartments.

Under the settlement agreement, the village will promote the replacement of the lost housing units and engage the Long Island Housing Partnership as its consultant on all housing and related matters, the statement said.

“We hope to become a model for housing development on Long Island and the nation and we commend Hofstra University in their determined efforts to represent people who otherwise might not have had a voice,” said Mayor Ralphr Ekstrand.

Stefan Krieger, lead attorney for the nine plaintiffs, said: “Our clients applaud the village’s efforts to become a leader on Long Island in promoting inclusive housing policies. We look forward to working closely with the village in implementing these policies to address the needs of its diverse community.”

Through a translator, Juan Antonio Bustillo, one of the plaintiffs said “It’s wonderful we have reached an agreement with the community we love. I hope that in the future all the people in Farmingdale can continue to work together.”

The settlement calls for the village, over the course of the next decade, to recruit developers to replace 54 units of affordable housing that were lost in 2006 when the Secatogue Avenue property was sold, according to Newsday.

Nine residents became plaintiffs in the suit, claiming the village had failed to force the previous owner to make repairs and then moved swiftly to sell the property to Fairfield, Newsday reported.

The plaintiffs claimed at the time the move was designed to drive Latinos out of the community, a charge denied by the village.

Under the settlement, the nine plaintiffs will get preference in moving into the new units when they open and an undisclosed amount of cash, officials said.


krisann January 14, 2014 at 07:02 AM
10 families to one apartment, just what farmingdale needs. Affordable housing on Long Island will never work because of the illegal immigrant population.
Larry Koehler January 16, 2014 at 08:11 AM
The property was sold why do they feel they we're discriminated against. Everyone wants to be treated equal except when it benefits them.

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