LI Residents Reach Settlement with 5 Suffolk County Apartment Complexes in Wide Ranging Housing Discrimination Case

The Settlement Ends The Lawsuit Against Major Long Island Housing Providers Which Alleged Race, Disability and Source of Income Discrimination Against Prospective Tenants

Settlement reached in Long Island housing discrimination lawsuit 

As seen in Long Island Business News, Newsday, and News12LI:

Long Island Housing Services, (LIHS), Suffolk Independent Living Organization (SILO), and two Long Island residents reached a settlement in a federal lawsuit brought against five companies that own and manage a range of residential complexes across Long Island. The lawsuit was against NPS Property Corp., NPS Holiday Square LLC, Northwood Village, Inc., Brightwaters Gardens, Inc., Lakeside Garden Apartments LLC, and South Shore Gardens, LLC (collectively, “NPS”). The complaint alleged NPS told prospective African American tenants no upcoming units were available for rent, while informing prospective white tenants that there were multiple upcoming units available and separately, refused to accept applicants using housing vouchers, including SILO’s clients using vouchers designed for those with disabilities. The plaintiffs were represented by Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

In 2016, through systemic testing and investigations, LIHS discovered discrepancies in what NPS was allegedly telling prospective African American tenants and prospective white tenants about the availability of housing. This investigation also revealed that NPS was alleged to be discriminating against prospective tenants who use housing vouchers designed for those who have disabilities, NPS allegedly turned away SILO’s clients who sought units for rent.

Long Island Housing Services Executive Director Ian Wilder standing in front of a fair housing poster at a bus shelterLong Island Housing Services has found that apartment complex owners, regardless of how large they are, need to have requirements for adopting fair housing policies and conducting fair housing training,” said Ian Wilder, Executive Director of Long Island Housing Services, Inc. “No matter how many complaints we bring, the market continues to fail to get property owners to do this on their own. Towns and Villages, as the only entities with regulatory power of property rental, must step up to require mandatory fair housing policies and fair housing training as part of the rental permit policy. It is way past time for municipalities to require landlords to professionalize their operations across the board. In fact, for municipalities that receive HUD funding they are required to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing which would include requiring every entity that they deal with take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that they obey fair housing laws. In addition, it would be in the interest of insurance companies to require residential property owners adopt fair housing policies and conduct annual fair housing training to reduce their likelihood of having to pay out for a violation of the law.”

The settlement was reached after a Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation finding that NPS had violated the Suffolk County fair housing laws by denying applicants because of their use of housing vouchers. NPS agreed to settle with LIHS for $105,000.00 in monetary damages, separate from attorneys’ fees and costs, and as part of the agreement, LIHS will monitor NPS Properties for three years at an additional cost of $25,000 per year. The settlement also stipulates NPS must adopt critical policy changes to safeguard against future discrimination, including adopting a minimum income requirement that for voucher holders considers only the portion of the rent for which the applicant is responsible, thus taking into account the structure and purpose for which vouchers exist. NPS will also implement a non-discriminatory fair housing policy, display an equal housing opportunity logo, and provide fair housing training to their employees and agents.

“The damage that housing discrimination can do to communities is not trivial – it is deep and lasting.” said Brian Corman, Partner at Cohen Milstein. “Today’s settlement creates meaningful safeguards to ensure the fair housing laws continue to protect people of color, those with disabilities, and those using housing vouchers from intentional discrimination and unlawful policies that reinforce segregation.”

“SILO’s intent is to ensure our society is totally accessible to people with disabilities. Total accessibility means people with disabilities must be afforded the same opportunities as everyone in our community. Disability or an individual’s source of income should not impede a disabled person in attaining a place to live. At SILO we are committed to preventing housing and source of income discrimination against individuals with disabilities,” said Joseph M. Delgado, Chief Executive Officer of Suffolk Independent Living Organization.

“Source of income discrimination disproportionately harms Black families and persons with disabilities, and landlords must not be allowed to skirt prohibitions on such discrimination through income policies that do not reflect the realities of rental assistance programs,” said Thomas Silverstein, Associate Director of the Fair Housing & Community Development Project at the Lawyers’ Committee. “Income policies like the one NPS is modifying as a result of this settlement also undermine the efficacy of our shared affordable housing investments and exacerbate segregation.”

As part of LIHS’ mission to end segregation, it monitors housing industry practices for race, disability, and source of income discrimination. In this investigation, LIHS’ testers posed as ordinary home seekers to document the treatment they experienced for LIHS to determine compliance with fair housing laws.

Race Discrimination Investigation

In 2016, systemic testing and investigation by LIHS allegedly revealed that NPS was discriminating against African Americans. Several of LIHS’ African American testers were allegedly informed by NPS that there were no available apartment units for rent. However, LIHS’ White Testers allegedly were told that there were several upcoming available rental units.

Disability and Source of Income Discrimination Investigation

Also in 2016, SILO reported allegations of disability and source of income discrimination to LIHS against NPS after they allegedly refused to accept SILO’s clients as tenants. Additionally, two individual complainants reported allegations of disability and source of income discrimination against NPS, after being denied housing. 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.

LIHS’ testing and investigation revealed evidence that testers posing as persons having a disability and Housing Voucher were allegedly told that they were not accepted because NPS had attained its quota of tenants with disabilities and Housing Vouchers. Testers posing as individuals with Housing Vouchers for individuals with disabilities were not told about available apartments and were not able to view them. Furthermore, a tester depicted as having a Department of Social Services One-Shot Deal was allegedly told that One-Shot Deal was not accepted. The One-Shot deal program provides financial assistance to low-income individuals in need of funds to cover the security deposit. In comparison, the evidence demonstrated that testers without disabilities and an alternative source of income were allegedly told about available apartments and were invited to view the available apartments. A difference in treatment based on the protected class of disability and source of income is illegal housing discrimination protected under fair housing and human rights laws.

NPS Property Corp. owns multiple apartment complexes in Suffolk County. Northwood Village, Inc., is the owner of Northwood Village, a residential rental building with 65 units located at 167 Weeks Road, North Babylon, New York. Brightwaters Gardens, Inc., is the owner of Brightwaters Gardens, a residential rental building with 24 units located at 9-15 Hiawatha Drive, Brightwaters, New York. NPS Holiday Square LLC owns a residential rental building with 144 units located at 10 Muncy Avenue, West Babylon, Suffolk County, New York Lakeside Garden Apartments LLC, is the owner of Lakeside Garden Apartments, a residential rental building with 55 units located at 25 Cedar Court, Copiague, New York. South Shore Gardens, LLC is the owner of South Shore Gardens, also known as South Shore Commons, a residential rental building located at 204 Farmingdale Road, West Babylon, Suffolk County, New York.


About Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a premier U.S. plaintiffs’ law firm, with over 100 attorneys across eight offices, champions the causes of real people – workers, consumers, small business owners, investors, and whistleblowers – working to deliver corporate reforms and fair markets for the common good. For more information visit

About Long Island Housing Services
Founded in 1969, Long Island Housing Services mission is the elimination of unlawful discrimination and promotion of decent and affordable housing through advocacy and education. LIHS is a private, nonprofit HUD-qualified Fair Housing Enforcement Organization and a federally certified, approved Housing Counseling agency. (

About Suffolk Independent Living Organization
Suffolk Independent Living Organization (SILO) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, consumer-controlled, non-residential, civil rights, mentoring, and educational organization which has been providing programs and services to people with disabilities in Suffolk County since 1985.

About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit


The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.