N.Y. Community Pays $165K to Settle Race Discrimination Claims

June 26, 2014
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The owner and property manager of a rental community on Long Island, N.Y., recently agreed to pay $165,000 to settle a fair housing case alleging racial discrimination, according to an announcement by ERASE Racism, a New-York based fair housing advocacy group.

The case stemmed from a fair housing investigation in which testers were sent to the 75-unit building on several occasions. Allegedly, the testing revealed significant discrepancies between the welcoming responses received by white testers and discriminatory actions against African-American testers who inquired about one-bedroom apartments for rent. The lawsuit accused the community of violating fair housing law by representing that housing was not available for inspection or rent when in fact it was available; discriminating in the terms and conditions of rentals by quoting higher rents; and making rentals unavailable because of the prospect’s race or color.

As part of the settlement, the owner agreed to adopt and implement nondiscrimination policies to prevent future fair housing law violations. These policies include fair housing training, recordkeeping requirements, and compliance monitoring.

“We brought this case because we had compelling evidence of racial discrimination and African Americans cannot be denied housing choice based on race,” Elaine Gross, president of ERASE Racism, said in a statement. “While many people would like to believe that this type of housing discrimination is no longer an issue, it is a shame that the burden falls on a small number of concerned organizations, like ERASE Racism, to document the discrimination and use the courts to stop it.”

Source: ERASE Racism