Settlement reached in renter income discrimination dispute


Long Island Housing Services has negotiated a settlement with an apartment landlord over income discrimination complaints. 

The fair-housing organization had filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights alleging that Brookwood Communities and Campbird Management, the landlord’s property management company, appeared to be discriminating against people with Section 8 housing vouchers. 

A LIHS investigation found that prospective renters with housing vouchers seeking apartments at Brookwood properties were told that they needed a minimum income of 2.75 times the rent, however, state law mandates that a minimum income policy cannot be enforced against individuals with housing vouchers. 

State guidance on protections from source-of-income discrimination in housing says that housing providers cannot use an income requirement policy that has a negative impact on low-income and housing-choice voucher holders. The state, and Nassau and Suffolk counties prohibit discrimination based on a lawful source of income. 

As a result of the settlement, Brookwood agreed to settle with Long Island Housing Services for $16,000 and $12,000 each for two individual complainants in monetary damages. In addition, the landlord agreed to policy changes that include adopting a non-discriminatory fair housing policy and a source of income policy. Brookwood also agreed to provide fair-housing training to their employees and revise their website to include a statement supporting fair-housing laws. 

Brookwood has several rental complexes on Long Island, including communities in Bay Shore, Holbrook, Islip, Oakdale, Ridge and Sayville. 


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