New York City will amend its long standing practice of giving preference to locals applying for affordable housing lotteries in their neighborhoods — the result of a years-long lawsuit that accused the practice of fueling residential segregation. The settlement closes a chapter in a nearly decade-long legal debate about how best to ensure equitable opportunities for New Yorkers, and comes as the city grapples with a housing shortage and uneven distribution of affordable homes.
Howard Slatkin, executive director at Citizens Housing and Planning Council, called community preference — originally employed as part of the Koch administrations efforts to redevelop low-income communities that were abandoned during the city’s fiscal crisis — “a tool that was used to allay concerns about gentrification as the city rebuilt neighborhoods.”
“We went from a city where abandonment was the predominant theme to a city where gentrification was the predominant theme, and I think that heightened the appeal and demand for community preference,” he said.
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