WRONG TO DENY HOUSING TO VOUCHER HOLDERS
As reported earlier, on behalf of an affordable housing watchdog group, Housing Rights Initiative (HRI), Newman Ferrara LLP recently filed a lawsuit accusing some thirty-six Westchester landlords, brokers, and agents of discriminating against Section 8 voucher holders.
Within days of filing the complaint, the story has already been picked up by prominent news media outlets. A Vox article noted that the conduct of the accused “paint[s] a picture of discrimination in America that is so woven into the fabric of the housing market that some of these landlords and realtors felt free enough to put allegedly unlawful activity in writing. Sometimes the most devastating forms of discrimination are the ones that are hardest to recognize.”
The Real Deal noted that Rep. Jamaal Brown expressed his support of the lawsuit, noting that “rent is already too high in Westchester and the limited availability of Section 8 vouchers makes it difficult for families in need to get housing.”
Inman (subscription required) quoted our own Prof. Randolph McLaughlin, co-chair of the firm’s Civil Rights Practice Group and lead attorney on the case. The Professor observed, in part, “these defendants stand between a home and homelessness. With the housing crisis caused by the pandemic and high unemployment Section 8 voucher programs are needed now more than ever.”
Given the nature of the dispute, and the potential ramifications if defendants are found guilty of discrimination, it is not surprising to see the media attention this lawsuit is receiving.
Check this space for updates on the case, and for other related developments.
Questions about the litigation may be directed to Professor McLaughlin at 212-619-5400.