Today, a federal judge approved a settlement agreement between the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) and Bond NY Properties in Cales v. New Castle Hill Realty, et al., a case brought against multiple real estate companies and agents alleging source of income discrimination. The lawsuit, based on testing conducted by the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) in 2008 and 2009, found that certain real estate companies discriminated against prospective renters on the basis of source of income. Real estate agents working for the defendants refused to show apartments to prospective tenants who had disabilities, were not working because of disabilities, received Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and/or had a New York City rental subsidy.
As part of the settlement, Bond agreed to adopt an anti-discrimination policy and to provide fair housing training to its employees. Bond also agreed to certain advertising practices and will modify its rental applications and policies to account for all sources of income. Bond was the sole remaining defendant in the case and with this final settlement agreement, the case is fully resolved. In total, the lawsuit resulted in damages and attorney’s fees of more than $550,000, as well as training and changes in policies by defendants. The FHJC was represented by ECBAWM’s Diane L. Houk, Elizabeth S. Saylor, and Debbie Greenberger.