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On May 25, 2022, Newman Ferrara LLP’s Civil Rights Practice Group filed a complaint in New York County State Supreme Court, against 124 real-estate companies, brokers, and property managers, alleging source-of-income discrimination in violation of New York State and New York City Human Rights laws.

The litigation, filed on behalf of Housing Rights Initiative (HRI), a nonprofit housing-watchdog group, alleges that these defendants systematically deny renters with government-funded housing vouchers -- in this case, CityFHEPS -- the opportunity to apply for New York City apartments.

According to a February 2022 report -- issued by Unlock NYC, Neighbors Together, the Anti Eviction Mapping Project, and the Housing Data Coalition -- only 20% of CityFHEPS voucher recipients were able to find apartments back in 2019, in large part due to the discrimination they faced simply by being program participants.

Randolph McLaughlin, Co-Chair of the Civil Rights Practice Group at Newman Ferrara LLP, stated, “when you walk the streets of New York and you wonder why people are sleeping in the subways, why people are sleeping in encampments under bridges, it’s because landlords and realtors won’t allow them to get a home.”

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If you believe you are a victim of housing discrimination, or if you would like additional information about this litigation, please do not hesitate to reach out to an attorney with our Civil Rights Practice Group, by calling 212-619-5400.

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Press coverage about this lawsuit can be found here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/25/nyregion/ny-vouchers-homeless-discrimination.html (subscription required)

https://www.crainsnewyork.com/real-estate/housing-watchdog-group-doubles-down-income-discrimination-claims-new-lawsuit (subscription required)

https://www.law360.com/consumerprotection/articles/1496827/-watchdog-alleges-widespread-nyc-housing-voucher-bias (subscription required)