Shady Lane Apartments management must put in place nondiscriminatory rental procedures and policy and notify the public about it, under an agreement reached with the state Attorney General’s Office.
It also must pay a penalty after the state determined in an undercover investigation that African American applicants and prospective tenants with children were subject to discrimination.
The state announced the agreement today with the owner, management company and rental agent of Shady Lane Apartments.
The agreement was reached after an investigation into allegations that families with children and African Americans who applied to be tenants at Shady Lane were discriminated against.
According to the agreement, Shady Lane Realty Inc. and Socha Management Inc., its management company, must “implement nondiscriminatory rental procedures and a non-discrimination policy, notify the public of its nondiscrimination policy, require fair housing training for all rental agents, provide periodic reports to the Attorney General’s Office, and pay a $22,500 penalty to the State of New York.”
The state conducted an undercover investigation in 2010 in which agents posed as potential renters. The operation was conducted under the Fair Housing Testing Program, which identifies unlawful housing discrimination based on, among other factors, race, national origin, disability or family status.
The investigation revealed differences in treatment between the individuals with children and those without children. For example, families without children were shown available apartments while families with children were told there was a waiting list for apartments. Further, the evidence showed that the defendants maintained a long-standing marketing campaign advertising the appeal of the complex as “adult luxury living” and “mature living,” discouraging families with children from applying. The fair housing tests also revealed discrepancies in how African-American and white testers were treated when asking about available apartments.
“Depriving people of housing because they have children or because of their race is not only illegal, it is unconscionable,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in the announcement. “Landlords who violate our state’s fair housing laws will be held accountable. My office will not tolerate people being told where they can and cannot live based on their familial status, race, or any other unlawful reasons, and will continue to work to ensure equal access to housing for all New Yorkers.”