Landlord pays $95,000 to resolve Fair Housing case

TRUDY TOMLINSON | 12/17/2015, 12:39 p.m.
The Fair Housing Justice Center conducted a test that has yielded evidence of race discrimination.

The Fair Housing Justice Center conducted a test that has yielded evidence of race discrimination.

Nov. 24, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III signed an agreement resolving a housing discrimination lawsuit that involved a 43-unit rental building in Brooklyn. The complaint, filed in January by 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 that African-American testers were quoted higher rents and security deposit or were told no apartments were available. The same agent quoted lower rents and security deposits and provided information about available apartments to comparably qualified white testers.

“This is yet another example of how testing is often the only way to learn whether landlords are providing the same information, quoting the same prices, offering the same service and affording the same treatment to people of different races,” stated FHJC Executive Director Fred Freiberg. “Without testing, most racial discrimination in housing would go undetected and unchallenged.”

Along with paying the plaintiffs $95,000 for damages and attorney fees, 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 procedure for showing available apartments and dispensing information about them.  

The order also 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.

The plaintiffs were represented by Milton L. Williams Jr. with the law firm of Vladeck, Raskin & Clark P.C.