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Settlement reached over Section 8 housing discrimination

New Yok Attorney General Eric Shneiderman has reached a deal with three real estate companies in the state that have been charged with denying apartments to people because they were receiving public housing assistance. The three firms, Crifasi Real Estate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate and Empire State Equities, market and manage hundreds of apartments in New York City as well as in Westchester and Nassau counties.

The three companies have agreed to pay fines of $13,000 to $40,000. They've also agreed to implement new training and management programs to help prevent discrimination in the future. The companies have committed to enrolling their employees in fair housing training programs and to publicly stating hat they accept government subsidies.

Attorney General Schneiderman said, "Turning away individuals from an apartment based on a lawful source of income is a blatant form of discrimination." He added, "Everyone deserves a fair shot at renting an apartment in New York -- especially during a time when many are struggling to find affordable housing."

Undercover operatives working tor the Attorney General's office helped build the case. In one instance, they found that a company had a fictitious waiting list for anyone who had a Section 8 housing voucher. These vouchers are available via a federal program designed to help low-income families as well as elderly and disabled people afford "decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market."

Anyone who believes that they have illegally been denied housing should seek legal recourse. A New York attorney can help you determine what your options are under state law.

Source: New York Daily News, "N.Y. attorney general reaches deal with 3 real estate firms charged with illegally denying apartments to people on housing assistance," Glenn Blain, May 23, 2016

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