New York Owner to Pay $22,500 Penalty to Settle Housing Discrimination Case

October 24, 2011
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Earlier this month, the owner, management company, and rental agent of a 444-unit community in Glenville, N.Y., agreed to pay a $22,500 penalty to resolve allegations of discrimination against families with children and African Americans, according to an announcement by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

A 2010 undercover investigation by the Attorney General’s office allegedly revealed differences in treatment between the individuals with children and those without children. For example, fair housing testers reported that families without children were shown available apartments while families with children were told there was a waiting list for apartments.

In addition, the evidence allegedly showed that the community maintained a long-standing marketing campaign advertising the appeal of the complex as "adult luxury living" and "mature living," discouraging families with children from applying. Allegedly, the tests also showed discrepancies in how African-American and white testers were treated when asking about available apartments.

In addition to payment of the penalty, the owners and managers agreed to develop and implement nondiscriminatory rental procedures and a nondiscrimination policy, notify the public of its nondiscrimination policy, require fair housing training for all rental agents, and provide periodic reports to the Attorney General's Office.

“Depriving people of housing because they have children or because of their race is not only illegal, it is unconscionable," Schneiderman said in a statement. “Landlords who violate our state’s fair housing laws will be held accountable. My office will not tolerate people being told where they can and cannot live based on their familial status, race, or any other unlawful reasons, and will continue to work to ensure equal access to housing for all New Yorkers."

Source: New York Attorney General’s Office