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Brokerages fined for turning away folks on Government assistance

ATTORNEY GENERAL SCHNEIDERMAN
ATTORNEY GENERAL SCHNEIDERMAN

Three New York brokerages were forced to pay penalties in a settlement over alleged discrimination, the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced.

Absolute Properties, Brownstone Real Estate and Destination Real Estate were accused of systematically turning down clients who receive public assistance – for example through the federal voucher program Section 8.

According to a press release, the Manhattan based brokerage Absolute Properties told an undercover investigator that “they don’t do Section 8.” Brooklyn based Brownstone Real Estate did not accept vouchers and ignored requests to use them, according to the investigation, while Brooklyn based Destination Real Estate advertised a property as “income only”.

“Discrimination comes in many forms, but denying a home to someone because they receive government assistance is one of the most insidious, having a disproportionate effect on black and Hispanic individuals. No one should be turned away from an apartment based on a lawful income source, and we will continue to fight to ensure that everyone is treated equally under the law, regardless of race, ethnicity, or income,” Schneiderman said.

The settlement is the result of an investigation launched by Schneiderman’s Civil Rights Bureau to determine whether landlords and real estate brokers across New York were complying with regulations prohibiting discrimination based on source of income.

 

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