• Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

    New Rochelle Real Estate Firm Settles Discrimination Case, Commits to Affordable Housing

    BySharna Bass

    Feb 6, 2024
    New Rochelle Real Estate Firm Settles Discrimination Case, Commits to Affordable Housing

    A prominent real estate firm in New Rochelle, Century 21 Marciano, has reached a settlement in a discrimination case with the state of New York. The firm was accused of denying housing opportunities to low-income renters by Attorney General Letitia James. The case highlighted the firm’s violation of the Fair Housing law, specifically regarding the rejection of prospective tenants who mentioned using Section 8 vouchers to pay their rent.

    According to fair housing advocate Alexander Roberts, the firm’s actions amounted to discrimination and profiling, unfairly excluding individuals based on their income level. To enforce the law, undercover testing was conducted by housing rights group workers who posed as potential tenants inquiring about rental units listed by Marciano.

    The settlement reached requires Marciano to pay $40,000 and provide housing for nine Section 8 tenants in its apartments. Roberts expressed enthusiasm about the settlement, emphasizing the creation of nine units of affordable housing in Westchester County as a positive outcome.

    The case serves as a reminder to brokers and agents to uphold the principles outlined in the Fair Housing law. It also compels Century 21 Marciano to waive any broker fees for applicants using government housing vouchers, further encouraging access to affordable housing.

    With this settlement, the real estate firm has an opportunity to rectify its discriminatory practices by actively participating in the provision of affordable housing. While it highlights a specific case, the settlement also represents a broader effort to combat housing discrimination and foster inclusivity in Westchester County.

    Moving forward, it is crucial for all real estate professionals to understand and adhere to fair housing regulations to ensure equal access to housing for all individuals, regardless of their income or background. By doing so, the real estate industry can play a pivotal role in creating more inclusive communities and promoting social equity.

    FAQ Section:

    1. What was Century 21 Marciano accused of in the discrimination case?
    Century 21 Marciano was accused of denying housing opportunities to low-income renters who mentioned using Section 8 vouchers to pay their rent.

    2. Who accused Century 21 Marciano of discrimination?
    Attorney General Letitia James accused Century 21 Marciano of discrimination.

    3. What law did Century 21 Marciano violate?
    Century 21 Marciano violated the Fair Housing law.

    4. How did housing rights group workers uncover the discrimination?
    Housing rights group workers conducted undercover testing by posing as potential tenants inquiring about rental units listed by Marciano.

    5. What is the settlement reached in the case?
    The settlement requires Marciano to pay $40,000 and provide housing for nine Section 8 tenants in its apartments.

    6. What did fair housing advocate Alexander Roberts say about the settlement?
    Alexander Roberts expressed enthusiasm about the settlement and emphasized the creation of nine units of affordable housing in Westchester County as a positive outcome.

    7. What does the settlement require Century 21 Marciano to do for applicants using government housing vouchers?
    Century 21 Marciano is required to waive any broker fees for applicants using government housing vouchers.

    8. What should real estate professionals do in light of this case?
    Real estate professionals should understand and adhere to fair housing regulations to ensure equal access to housing for all individuals, regardless of their income or background.

    Definitions:

    1. Section 8 vouchers: Government-issued housing vouchers that assist low-income individuals and families in paying for rental housing in the private market.

    2. Fair Housing law: A set of federal, state, and local laws that prohibit discrimination in housing based on factors such as race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status.

    Related Links:
    New York State Department of State – Real Estate Broker
    U.S. Department of Justice – Fair Housing Act