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Ruling Barring Transfer of Jewish Tenants from City Project to Be Challenged

May 25, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Simeon Golar. chairman of the New York City Housing Authority, indicated today that he will challenge a federal Judge’s ruling that bars the Authority from transferring Jewish tenants from other city projects to apartments on the Lower East Side specifically ear-marked for Jews, Golar told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Housing Authority lawyers were studying the 26-page decision rendered yesterday by Judge Marvin E. Frankel to determine whether to appeal a temporary injunction barring the move or to take the case to court for a full hearing on its merits.

Golar said a decision would be reached in the next day or two. But he conceded that the first transfer families may not be able to move into their new apartments on June 1, as scheduled, Judge Frankel ruled that the city had violated the constitutional rights of Blacks and Puerto Ricans by giving preference to Jews seeking to move into apartments in the Seward Park Extension Urban Renewal area, a federally assisted low income housing project. He also contended that the city was violating its own regulations by failing to give first priority to former residents of the renewal area.


Judge Frankel acted on a law suit filed by the MFY Legal Services for Blacks and other former residents of the urban renewal site who were relocated but want to return and who claim priority. Golar denied emphatically that the city was violating either the constitutional rights of the complainants or its own regulations. He said the city’s reading of its regulations differed from that of the judge. The city holds that the former site residents who had been relocated to other public housing no longer had priority for the new project.

He said Jewish families had preference in two of the project’s buildings which were built adjacent to a synagogue and were originally conceived to meet the needs of orthodox Jews who do not ride on the Sabbath. The 25-story buildings have been equipped with “Sabbath elevators” which stop automatically on each floor. Golar denied that the preference assigned to Jews violated government rules against rental discrimination in federally assisted housing on the basis of religion or ethnic origin.

He said the Housing Authority aimed at meeting the needs of all ethnic and religious groups, pointing out that large apartments were specifically ear-marked for Black and Puerto Rican tenants with large families while the needs of the Jews, many of them elderly, was for small flats. Golar said that housing projects designed to meet the needs of observant Jews have been built in Williamsburg and other areas of the city without arousing complaints infringing on the rights of other ethnic minorities.

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