- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Newark, New Jersey, is taking New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to court to end a homeless family relocation program that has placed families in sometimes decrepit New Jersey homes.

New court records filed Monday say the program — which has placed 2,200 homeless families throughout 62 New Jersey towns, including 1,198 in Newark — has given families homes with no heat, no hot water, pest infestation, collapsed ceilings and even properties that were illegally rented, according to NJ Advance Media.

“New York has continued to send people despite us having several discussions about our problems with their program,” Newark’s corporation counsel Kenyatta Stewart said. “We need to get a judge involved, so they can stop shipping people to Newark.”

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Newark is suing both Mr. de Blasio and the Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks, accusing them of violating interstate commerce rules by forcing families to sign predatory leases to decrepit homes, not informing local officials and ignoring complaints.

They have asked for a temporary restraining order to prevent more families to be brought to their city, as well as a list of all relocated families and a fund to help them sustain their homes.

Mr. de Blasio’s deputy press secretary called the lawsuit “income-based discrimination” and said they were reviewing the case.

“Homeless families and individuals have the right to seek housing where they can afford it — and attacking their ability to do so amounts to nothing short of income-based discrimination,” Avery Cohen said in a statement. “We will review the complaint and take appropriate action.”

The lawsuit comes after Newark made the program illegal, outlawing relocating homeless people to the city and landlords who are requiring more than a month’s rent upfront.


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