LI rental advanced reaches $11G settlement over housing bias allegations

A Bay Shore apartment complex paid $ 11,250 to resolve allegations that it discriminated against people with disabilities and those receiving vouchers, according to Long Island Housing Services nonprofit.

Brook Gardens Apartments, owned by Court Apartments LLC June 1-49, became the subject of an investigation by Bohemian-based Long Island Housing Services in 2019 after the group learned of allegations that the complex had no tenants Housing vouchers accepted.

The group’s investigation found evidence of discrimination, said Ian Wilder, executive director of Long Island Housing Services.

“Unfortunately, that is very common,” said Wilder. “I hope that publicizing these settlements will help educate housing providers … that they cannot refuse anyone a home that is based on a legitimate source of income,” he said.

The rental complex and a lawyer listed as a contact in the state founding documents did not respond to comments on Friday.

Long Island Housing Services opened the investigation after Medford’s nonprofit Suffolk Independent Living Organization, which provides services to people with disabilities, received a complaint about the complex, Wilder said.

Long Island Housing Services said Friday that testers were sent into the complex to find out if the complex complies with federal, state and county fair housing laws that prohibit bias against people with disabilities. State and local laws also prohibit discrimination against people who receive income from legal sources such as government vouchers for people with low incomes or disabilities. Discrimination based on race, gender, and other factors is also illegal.

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The group said a tester looking for an apartment for a person with disabilities was told that no unit was available, while a tester without a disability was told that an apartment was open and could view it. In addition, testers with vouchers were told that the complex would not accept them and that there was a long waiting list for units, while test subjects without vouchers were allowed to see an open apartment.

After Long Island Housing Services filed a complaint with the state’s Human Rights Department, the group reached a $ 7,500 settlement with the complex last month, which separately paid $ 3,750 to the Suffolk Independent Living Organization, Long Island Housing Services said. The complex also agreed to change its policies and provide fair housing training to its employees.

Maura McDermott covers residential real estate and other business news on Long Island.

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