NY Community to Pay $92K to Settle Discrimination Claims

The owner and manager of a 22-unit apartment complex in Westchester County, N.Y., have agreed to pay $92,000 to settle a lawsuit accusing them of housing discrimination against African Americans, according to an announcement by Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The complaint accused the owner and manager of engaging in racially discriminatory housing practices, including failing to inform African-American prospective tenants about available units, while telling Caucasian prospects that units were in fact available. The complaint also alleged that they failed to show available units and give rental applications to African-American prospects, but showed available units and gave rental applications to Caucasian prospects. In addition, they allegedly quoted higher rent prices and less favorable security deposit terms to African-American prospects than those offered to similarly situated Caucasian prospects.

Under the settlement, the owner and manager agreed to pay $60,000 into a victim compensation fund and a $32,000 civil penalty to the government. The settlement also requires them to implement a nondiscrimination policy and nondiscriminatory standards and procedures at the community.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Nobody should be deprived of housing opportunities based on his or her race or color. This case should be a wake-up call to any landlord or building owner who discriminates. Racial discrimination in housing is not only antithetical to the principles of fairness and equality, it is against the law.”

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York