updated 12/1/2010 9:15:50 PM ET 2010-12-02T02:15:50

NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The law firm of Harwood Feffer LLP ( www.hfesq.com ) today announced that it has filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of the residents of the Father Pat Carroll Green development against the City of Yonkers and others.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiffs, minority home owners, purchased what they were led to believe were new well constructed, safe and affordable homes. However, after the plaintiffs moved into their homes, they discovered that the weed-filled and barren land that made up their backyards and common grounds were filled with buried waste, including garbage, automobile tires, automobile batteries, pipes, glass and construction and demolition debris. Additionally, the siding on the buildings, the window frames and doors were installed improperly, resulting in severe water damage to the homes. The homes were also poorly insulated and the heating systems were inadequate and inefficient, which led to increased heating costs and poorly heated rooms. Despite their complaints about these and other conditions, little was done to correct the numerous defects. The plans for the homes were approved by officials for the City of Yonkers.

The federal complaint also alleges the City of Yonkers advised home owners in August 2010 that it would provide top soil that could be used to level the back yards and cover the debris-laden fill dirt that presently covers the properties. Instead, the City dumped piles of additional land fill in the back yards of the homes, which likewise are dangerously laden with debris, glass, and other potentially hazardous materials. Despite numerous requests that the mounds of fill be removed, the dirt remains an eyesore and an enticing, albeit dangerous, draw for children who play on and about contaminated piles.

The complaint also alleges that the plaintiffs, all of whom are minority group members, were deliberately steered to the project on account of their race, color or national origin in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act. The Father Pat Carroll Green development is located in a predominantly minority neighborhood in Southwest Yonkers. The plaintiffs allege that they were discouraged from seeking and/or not informed about affordable housing in white sections of Yonkers or elsewhere in Westchester. 

In 1980, the City of Yonkers was sued by the United States Department of Justice and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in a landmark suit that alleged that the City had engaged in intentional segregation of its subsidized housing projects. In 1986, United States District Court Judge Leonard Sand ruled that the City had engaged in a pattern of intentional housing discrimination. As a result, the City was subjected to federal oversight of its housing programs for over twenty years. The complaint charges that the actions of the City and others are a continuation of the discriminatory conduct declared illegal by Judge Sand and has resulted in the perpetuation of residential segregation in Yonkers.  

Harwood Feffer is a nationally recognized firm in the areas of securities, ERISA, consumer fraud, product liability and civil rights litigation. More information on the firm can be found on its website at http://www.hfesq.com .

The Harwood Feffer LLP logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=454

CONTACT:  Harwood Feffer LLP
          Jeffrey M. Norton
          Randolph M. McLaughlin
          488 Madison Ave., 8th Fl.
          New York, NY 10022

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