Saturday, December 20, 2014

Owner/Operators Of Downstate NY Senior Living Residences & Assisted Living Facility Agree To Cough Up $297K+ To Settle Alleged Fair Housing Act Violations

From the Fair Housing Justice Center:
  • On December 11, 2014, federal Magistrate Ronald L. Ellis signed an agreement to settle a lawsuit filed by the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) against the owners and operators of four senior living residences located in Staten Island, Manhattan, Westchester County, and Rockland County as well as one assisted living/adult home facility in Rockland County. The federal complaint, filed in May 2013, alleged various discriminatory policies and practices based on disability, religion, and race.

    The allegations in the complaint included, among other things, maintaining a separate dining room for wheelchair users at one site, a prohibition on the use of power wheelchairs at another site, intrusive medical inquiries, questions about the religious practices of potential applicants, as well as the use of only white human models in marketing materials. The complaint was based on a four-month testing investigation conducted by the FHJC in 2012.

    ***

    While the defendants denied any wrongdoing, the settlement requires, among other things, that the defendants comply with fair housing laws; adopt policies to prevent future discrimination; obtain fair housing training; prominently market themselves as an equal housing opportunity provider; and pay $297,500 in damages, attorney fees, and costs. Most provisions of the agreement continue for a period of four years. During this time the defendants will maintain certain records and make them available for inspection by the FHJC. These provisions are designed to ensure future compliance with fair housing laws.
Source: Settlement Ensures Non-Discrimination in Senior Living Residences and Adult Home Facility (Defendants Pay $297,500 to Resolve Fair Housing Lawsuit).

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