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Hasidim Line Up to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Catskills

Hundreds show up to win one of 50 available slots in Sullivan County

Jonathan Zalman
June 16, 2015
Joseph Sohm, Shutterstock
Joseph Sohm, Shutterstock
Joseph Sohm, Shutterstock
Joseph Sohm, Shutterstock

Yesterday, Tablet contributor Jas Chana wrote about the new zoning regulations in Sullivan County, NY, in the Catskills, which encourages developers to replace the bungalows—deemed no longer up to code—with more modern, modular townhouses. “The development,” wrote Chana, “marks the end of an era of Jewish holiday making which began during the economic boom of post-World War II America.” The bungalow colonies that remain are inhabited predominantly by Hasidim, who summer there.

The Times Herald-Record has reported that over the weekend nearly 700 people, many Hasidic men and women, “camped outside the Monticello Housing Authority on Evergreen Road for as much as 10 hours Sunday night to apply for one of the 50 available subsidized housing slots in Sullivan County.” On Monday, they planned to apply to section 8 housing, the first such opportunity reportedly in five years.

The crowd woke up several residents in the complex. They say those waiting in line were making too much noise and parking in their privately-owned parking spaces. Other residents said there were too many cars blocking Evergreen Drive, preventing school buses from getting in and picking up children.
“They were very disrespectful,” said Evergreen resident Elaine Williams, former president and current secretary for the Sullivan County NAACP.
Several Hasidic men and women declined comment.

Applications are bring accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, but Anne Johnson, Executive Director of Monticello Housing Authority, said preference will be given to Sullivan residents, reports the Times Herald-Record.

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.