Federal lawsuit filed against town of Oyster Bay for housing discrimination

The suit claims two home buyers' programs exclude black buyers. (4/10/14)

OYSTER BAY - A federal lawsuit has been filed against the Town of Oyster Bay, claiming the town favors white residents when it came to a few low-income housing programs.

Supervisor John Venditto and nonprofit housing organization Long Island Housing Partnership have also been named in the suit. According to court documents, two housing programs have been designed to discriminate against black buyers because only residents of the predominantly white town can apply. The two programs referenced are Next Generation, which is for young families, and Golden Age, which is for seniors.

In a statement to News 12 Long Island, Venditto says, "It is just plain wrong to suggest that the Town of Oyster Bay is anything but a welcoming community to all people regardless of race." Venditto says the town plans to defend its housing programs in court.

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Federal officials say they've reached a settlement with LIHP and the organization has agreed to make sure its programs are analyzed so that they do not violate fair housing laws.

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