Today, a federal judge approved a settlement agreement in Long Island Housing Services, Inc. v. Main Street L.I., LLC and Bradford Mott, a case alleging that the owner of five Suffolk County apartment complexes discriminated against tenants and prospective tenants with disabilities. The testing investigation on which the Complaint is based allegedly found that renters with physical disabilities were discouraged from trying to rent at the apartments, provided false information about apartment availability, and quoted higher rents than renters without disabilities. Further, the lawsuit claims that Defendants illegally denied requests to modify their policies to allow people with disabilities equal access to the apartments.
The settlement provides $136,000 for Long Island Housing Services (LIHS) for damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs, as well as broad injunctive relief. The agreement requires Defendants to adopt and distribute a reasonable accommodation policy and to arrange mandatory fair housing training for its staff. In addition, Defendants will reimburse pet fees, deposits, or transfer fees charged to tenants who required service or assistance animals or transferred to a different apartment because of a disability. The Plaintiff in the case, LIHS, is represented by ECBAWM’s Diane L. Houk, along with co-counsel Erik A. Heins, LIHS Staff Attorney.