NYC thwarted in bid to avoid trial in discrimination case challenging its outsider-restriction policy in affordable-housing lotteries

Motion to reconsider

The Court’s opinion regarding disparate impacts can, unfortunately, be summarized as follows:

The SJ Opinion effectively concluded that the law prohibiting disparate impact does not prevent a Black New Yorker living in Central Harlem who applies in a lottery for housing on the Upper East Side from being told, “Don’t complain that you are being disadvantaged on the basis of race in the lottery on the Upper East Side; at some point there will be a lottery in Central Harlem and you might decide to apply there and yield an advantage on the basis of race. Being discriminated in one place and potentially being favored in another place balance each other out, unldess you show that the Upper East Side lies within an ‘inherently more desirable’ community district.”

We encourage you to read the briefs filed by both sides on the motion for reconsideration. You will note that the City has no substantive response to plaintiffs’ critiques of the Court’s opinion relating to disparate impacts.

Plaintiffs’ opening brief (filed May 5, 2023)

Defendant’s opposition brief (filed June 29, 2023)

Plaintiffs’ reply brief (filed July 10, 2023)

Whether or not you know the details of legal doctrine, can you imagine a policy with these impacts still being the way New York City conducts its business in 2023?