Conifer Realty, LLC is an affordable housing developer who has alleged that certain Town of New Castle officials have acted in a way that has made unavailable affordable fair housing apartments in the Town. These actions are contrary to the obligation of affirmatively furthering fair housing. These actions have, in effect, restricted housing choices or the availability of housing on the basis of race, national origin and disability.
In August 2009, the United States and Westchester County entered into a settlement where the County was to develop at least 750 affordable housing units, particularly in areas that were predominantly populated with whites. The Town of New Castle was qualified for the construction of these affordable units. A site located at 54 Hunts Lane, situated near the Chappaqua Metro North railroad station, was chosen for the project. The rezoning process was finalized in July 2010 and Town officials encouraged Conifer Realty to pursue the project. In September 2010, when Conifer Realty purchased the site, the Town Board endorsed its proposal, and Westchester County showed its support. After the State provided funding for the project, a yearlong public hearing in the town was opened in July 2012 in which a group of vocal residents voiced their opposition.
The Town Supervisor and other officials have attempted to derail this project citing unsubstantiated safety fears, stigmatization and the nature of the project. Conifer seeks HUD's intervention to prevent a biased and unfair process in preventing progression on the project and reversing its approvals.
ConiferLLC.com, Feds seek $60,000 in contempt fines against Westchester, published January 29, 2016: http://www.coniferllc.com/about/news-articles/213-feds-seek-60-000-in-contempt-fines-against-westchester
Lohud, Judge: Chappaqua units can count in housing deal, published May 24, 2016: http://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/2016/05/24/affordable-housing-ruling-chappaqua/84855134/
Lohud, Chappaqua Station affordable units back on track published July 3, 2015: http://www.lohud.com/story/money/personal-finance/taxes/david-mckay-wilson/2015/07/03/chappaqua-affordable-housing-track/29667647/
Lohud, Rejected Chappaqua affordable housing plan back in play, published November 26, 2014: http://www.lohud.com/story/money/personal-finance/taxes/david-mckay-wilson/2014/11/20/chappaqua-affordable-housing-funds-vote/70041858/
New York Times, An Affordable Housing Project Faces Opposition in Wealthy Chappaqua, published February 17, 2014: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/nyregion/an-affordable-housing-project-faces-opposition-in-wealthy-chappaqua.html?_r=0
Inside Chappaqua Inside Armonk, Letter to the editor – Conifer Responds, published March 20, 2014: http://theinsidepress.com/debate-time/
NewCastleNOW.org, HUD notifies town and county it will investigate Conifer's claim of discrimination, published March 7, 2014: http://www.newcastlenow.org/index.php/article/10838