The Village of Kiryas Joel strongly supports the action taken by New York State Attorney General Letitia James in a federal lawsuit against the Town of Chester and the County of Orange. In that case, elected town and county officials have taken discriminatory actions regarding a housing development that unfairly targets Hasidic Jewish families and deprives them of their rights.
This is not the first time that elected officials in Orange County and the municipalities that surround us have engaged in discriminatory and exclusionary actions, with the sole purpose of preventing the growth of the Hasidic community. This pattern is part of a concerted effort to use laws, county permits, and frivolous lawsuits to delay and deny Hasidic families from having quality and affordable housing. In fact, many elected officials have run on a platform that openly proclaims they will fight Hasidic growth to protect this county from people of differing faith and lifestyles. That is both morally wrong and legally indefensible.
Examples of such discrimination and hostility by many county and town officials include:
The continued county and Chester opposition to Kiryas Joel's annexation of additional land, even after it was supported by the affected residents of the town of Monroe;
The tactics to prevent and delay our expansion of a water system to help our residents by providing clean, safe drinking water from the New York City Aqueduct; and
The failure by the county to expand sewer treatment and hydraulic capacity in its sewer district, despite the projected growth and environmental demands of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The Village of Kiryas Joel stands ready to support the attorney general in her quest to rid Orange County of discrimination by holding its elected leaders accountable, in order to ensure that Hasidic families are able to live in this great county.
Kiryas Joel Village Administrator