2 Bronx Communities Are Accused of Preventing Blacks From Buying Homes

Cara Buckley, New York Times, February 6, 2010

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On Thursday, the Fair Housing Justice Center, a nonprofit group, sued Edgewater Park, its nearby sister community, Silver Beach Gardens, and one of its former longtime residents, the Realtor Amelia Lewis, claiming racial discrimination.

The suit, filed in United States District Court in Manhattan, sprang from an investigation the housing group conducted in September and October 2009, in which a white couple and an African-American couple inquired about buying homes in the communities. Both were “test” couples who worked for the housing group and said they were looking for homes priced below $300,000.

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According to the lawsuit, the white woman was warmly welcomed by Ms. Lewis, and was quickly shown nine available homes in both Edgewater Park and Silver Beach Gardens. {snip}

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In the end, it said, Ms. Lewis refused to show the African-American couple any home in either Edgewater Park or Silver Beach Gardens. {snip}

The suit says that 2000 Census figures show that while blacks account for 35 percent of owner-occupied homes in the Bronx, they account for less than 1 percent of the 1,100 homes in Edgewater Park and Silver Beach Gardens. {snip}

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