As seen in Newsday and Long Island Business News, Long Island Housing Services (LIHS) settled a source of income housing discrimination complaint against Saddle Rock Apartments, LLC and Sun Lakes Development Corp. The apartment complex is located in Holbrook, NY.
“It is shocking that Long Island Housing Services is still exposing so many examples of explicit housing discrimination based on source of income. It has been outlawed in Nassau and Suffolk counties for a decade. By now, landlords should know better than to tell prospective tenants that they do not accept vouchers or programs. It is the job of housing providers to educate themselves about the law as part of their business. We need education requirements for landlords similar to what is required for real estate agents” said Ian Wilder, Long Island Housing Services Executive Director.
In 2021, LIHS initiated testing against Saddle Rock Apartments due to concerns regarding barriers in housing choices on Long Island. As part of the investigation, LIHS’ testers posed as ordinary home seekers to document the treatment they experienced in order for LIHS to determine compliance with fair housing laws.
Testing and investigation revealed evidence of source of income discrimination. Testers posing as persons having Housing Choice vouchers were told that vouchers were not accepted. A difference of treatment based on the protected classes of source of income is illegal housing discrimination protected under New York Human Rights Law.
People who believe that they have experienced housing discrimination in Nassau or Suffolk Counties can contact Long Island Housing Services, Inc. at 631-567-5111 ext. 375
Hablamos Español 631-567-5111 Ext. 378 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New York State, Suffolk, and Nassau County Human Rights Laws prohibit discrimination based on a lawful source of income. Source of income discrimination occurs when a housing provider refuses to accept a lawful source of income, including, but not limited to, Supplemental Social Income (SSI), Social Security Disability (SSD), Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, Nursing Home Transition, and Diversion (NHTD) Housing Subsidy, Olmstead Housing Subsidy (OHS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Medicaid Waiver program, or child support.
Sun Lake Development no longer owns Saddle Rock Apartments and agreed to enter into a private settlement agreement with LIHS. LIHS agreed to settle the complaint for monetary damages of $30,000. Since Sun Lake Development is no longer the owner, the usual equitable relief was not requested. Equitable relief usually are policy changes that include their adopting a non-discriminatory fair housing policy, displaying compliance with fair housing laws, and providing fair housing training to their employees and agents.
Founded in 1969, Long Island Housing Services, Inc. is a private, nonprofit HUD-qualified Fair Housing Enforcement Organization and a federally certified Housing Counseling agency. Long Island Housing Services’ mission is the elimination of unlawful discrimination and promotion of decent and affordable housing through advocacy and education. (www.LIFairHousing.org)
The Fair Housing enforcement and advocacy work of LIHS is supported through grants from Enterprise Community Partners.