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May 5, 1971

Prudencio T. FELICIANO et al., Plaintiffs,
George ROMNEY, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, et al., Defendants

Tenney, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: TENNEY


TENNEY, District Judge.

 By order to show cause dated April 15, 1971, plaintiffs, residents of site 23 of the Milbank-Frawley Circle Urban Renewal area (hereinafter referred to as the "renewal area"), move pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65 for a preliminary injunction, pending final determination of the instant suit.

 The relief sought, which is extraordinarily pervasive in both scope and terms, may fairly be summarized as follows: First, movants seek to require the defendants to submit to this Court a workable plan for -- (a) promptly relocating poor Black and Puerto Rican residents of the renewal area into adequate housing without curtailing the available supply of such housing for other low and moderate income families in the City; (b) replacing within one year after removal each unit of low income housing removed from the housing market by redevelopment; and (c) rehabilitating and maintaining existing occupied housing units in the renewal area at standards in accordance with local and federal housing requirements. Second, plaintiffs would have the defendants preliminarily enjoined from: (a) displacing them in any manner other than by placing them into decent housing as required by law, and only until such time as local structurally sound existing structures have been rehabilitated; (b) acquiring title to any residential property in the renewal area requiring maintenance of buildings or relocation of residents; (c) relocating plaintiffs from city-owned housing into other dwellings for the purpose of constructing new housing, until existing structurally sound and vacant buildings have been rehabilitated, pursuant to an urban renewal plan previously approved by the New York City Board of Estimate in November of 1968; (d) relocating residents of the renewal area in a manner other than in compliance with the approved community development plan, providing for community owned and operated low and middle income housing at rents that residents will be able to afford; (e) curtailing any services in housing presently owned by the City and occupied by residents of the renewal area; (f) failing or refusing to renew a contract with the Milbank-Frawley Circle Housing Council (hereinafter referred to as the "Council"), an organization representing community residents affected by the renewal project, which expires on May 31, 1971; (g) withholding processing and payment of vouchers to the Council when due; (h) withholding furniture and equipment from the Council, for which funds had already been federally provided; and (i) interfering with the Council in its performance of its legal responsibilities and duties to the plaintiffs and residents of the renewal area.

 Finally, movants seek an order requiring defendants to: (a) maintain all occupied housing in the renewal area in accordance with local and federal housing standards; (b) rehabilitate within one year approved structurally sound low income replacement housing in the renewal area in a number equal to the low income housing withdrawn from the market by the renewal project; and (c) comply with the federal laws requiring that an opportunity in accordance with an affirmative plan be provided for training and employing residents of the renewal area for construction work.

 In the event that a workable relocation plan as set forth above is not provided by defendants by a date certain, it is further prayed that the federal defendants be enjoined from honoring requisitions by City and State defendants, or that the City of New York be enjoined from financing renewal activities in the area, and that the City be further prohibited from acquiring and demolishing property and displacing residents in the renewal area.

 More simply stated, movants seek: first, to enjoin all further attempts with respect to acquisition, site clearance and relocation efforts in the renewal area until a definitive plan for relocation and rehabilitation acceptable to them is produced; second, to mandamus the City and State defendants into performing certain maintenance and rehabilitation functions, and to require the Federal Government to renew its contract with the Council; and, finally, to prevent the Federal Government from honoring certain unspecified requisitions from the City and State defendants.

 Thus, movants' preliminary prayer, which it will be noted is essentially identical to the relief ultimately sought herein, urges that a federal court oversee, administer, directly control and, in part, referee a contest among antagonistic groups concerning the erection of longoverdue and urgently needed, decent living facilities for low and middle income Black and Puerto Rican people in the City.

 By way of background, and in order that the conclusion reached herein be understood in its proper and limited perspective, the following facts should also be set forth.

 The plaintiffs herein are poor to moderate income Black and Puerto Rican individuals who are fearful of eviction from their residences in the renewal area because of a pending state court eviction proceeding. The individual defendants are federal, state and local heads of governments, agencies and corporations involved in the instant redevelopment project. The interrelationship among these defendants briefly is as follows:

 The federal defendants are authorized to administer the provisions of the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. § 3301 et seq., and the Housing Act of 1949, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1441 et seq., which includes approving, supervising and financing Model Cities Urban Renewal Projects.

 The State defendants essentially are those parties responsible for administering the New York Urban Development Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "NYUDC"), which is the State agency primarily involved in developing the renewal area.

 The four City defendants are empowered to receive federal funding for local Model Cities and urban renewal programs, and to administer, direct and supervise such programs in the City.

 Finally, defendant Clark is the chairman of the 110th Street Plaza Housing Development Corporation, which has been designated as developer of the proposed housing project to be ...

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