Residents evicted from Frontier Mobile Home Park in North Amityville
Today is eviction day for more than 100 trailer park residents in North Amityville.
The move is to clear the park so that a developer can build 500 new apartments. About 20 percent of the units will be set aside as affordable housing.
Many mobile home owners are suing the developer and the Town of Babylon. They say that the move violated their fair housing rights, and that it denies them funds and the right to move back into affordable housing.
Greg Koerner, one of the two attorneys suing the Town of Babylon and the developer, says the town is guilty of exclusionary zoning. He says most of the residents are black or Hispanic and the relocation plan promotes racial and ethnic segregation. He also says only a fraction of the new housing proposed is considered affordable.
Deputy Town Supervisor Tony Martinez says Babylon is doing all it can to ease the transition, even coaxing the developer to raise the relocation offer from $3,000 to $20,000 per homeowner.
"At the end of the day," he said, "75 percent of people actually signed the relocation plan and the town will make sure that they receive these funds that were promised to them in the relocation plan."
A federal judge has ordered a hearing on the lawsuit Sept. 9.
In the meantime, the attorney for the mobile home owners is asking for an immediate injunction to halt the evictions.