Nassau County Announces Resolution To 14-Year Fair Housing Act Litigation

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s Administration recently joined with nonprofit housing developer MHANY Management Inc. and New York Communities for Change, Inc. (NYCC) to announce a successful resolution of Fair Housing Act litigation that had been pending against Nassau County since 2005.

“This settlement supports my Administration’s on-going efforts to develop and promote mixed-income housing opportunities for all of our residents,” said Curran. “We are committed to working alongside our non-profit and community advocate partners in this regard.”

MHANY Management, Inc., et al., v. County of Nassau, E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 05-cv-2301. Under the settlement, which was approved by the Nassau County Legislature on March 11, 2019, is: a $5.4M payment to MHANY for purposes of affordable housing development; $120,000 in funds to civil rights advocacy group NYCC for educational programs; that Nassau County will set aside one quarter of the County’s housing grants from the HOME Investment Partnerships program, totaling approximately $450,000 per year for at least three years, to be made available to for-profit and not-for-profit developers seeking to build mixed-income rental housing in high opportunity areas, such as those with ample access to transportation and high performing schools and that Nassau’s Office of Community Development will conduct a study and draft a Development and Outreach Plan examining how, where, and by whom mixed-income housing can be developed within the County.

The plan will include a model zoning ordinance, which will aid and guide the independent local governments within the County’s borders—its cities, towns, and villages—as they develop zoning and land use regulations based upon the unique circumstances of each local jurisdiction.

“This is a tremendous moment for people of color in Nassau county,” said Mary Crosson, Chair of the Long Island Chapter of New York Communities for Change. “Long Island is remarkably segregated, and this is an important first step towards integrating Nassau County and reimagining what fair and integrated communities should look like. We are happy to celebrate this settlement, though this is but a first step toward solving many years of housing policies that created and continued the entrenched segregation on Long Island.”

“This landmark settlement is an important step in ensuring equal access to housing opportunity for African-American and Latino families in Nassau County,” said Kristen Clarke, president and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “Cities and counties across the country should look to the major policy changes and significant investments that Nassau County is making as a model for dismantling residential segregation and meeting critical affordable housing needs.”

Developers and nonprofit organizations interested in developing mixed-income housing that includes units that would be affordable for low and moderate income families (i.e., those earning $92,800 or less) are encouraged to review the Office of Community Development’s page on the County’s website, or to contact that office for more information at 516-571-3662.

Nassau County will continue and expand upon its efforts to encourage fair, decent, safe, and affordable housing for all of its residents, from young adults, to working class families, to seniors, and the less fortunate.

—Submitted by Nassau County

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