Sunday, December 13, 2015

Brooklyn Landlord Agrees To $95K Squeeze To Settle Race Discrimination Suit Alleging That It Was Bagged Quoting Black Fair Housing Testers Higher Rents & Security Deposits Than It Did To Comparably Qualified White Testers

In New York City, the Fair Housing Justice Center recently announced:
  • On November 24, 2015, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III signed an agreement resolving a housing discrimination lawsuit involving 43-unit rental building in Brooklyn.

    The complaint, filed in January 2015 by the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) and three African American testers, alleged that a rental agent for FGC 710 Avenue S. LLC engaged in racially discriminatory rental practices. The complaint alleged, among other things, that African American testers were quoted higher rents and security deposits or were told no apartments were available while the same agent quoted lower rents and security deposits and provided information about available apartments to comparably qualified white testers.

    As part of the injunctive relief in this case, the defendants agreed to adopt, post, and distribute a fair housing policy, require employees and agents to participate in fair housing training, ensure that available rental units are publicly advertised, and require uniform standards and procedures for showing available apartments and dispensing information about them. The order provides that the defendants will maintain rental records and the FHJC will be able to monitor compliance with the agreement for a period of four years. Finally, the defendants agreed to pay the plaintiffs $95,000 for damages and attorney’s fees.
Source: Landlord Pays $95,000 to Resolve Fair Housing Case (FHJC Testing Investigation Yielded Evidence of Race Discrimination).

See Changing Contexts and New Directions for the Use of Testing for more on the use of fair housing testers to bag discriminating housing providers.

Reference: Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research for additional articles on the use of fair housing testers and housing discrimination, generally.

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