On February 22, 2023, ECBAWM filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Fair Housing Justice Center (“FHJC”), alleging that architectural and engineering firm NY Building Associates Inc., engineer Naresh Mahangu, developer Developing NY State, LLC, and property owner Third Street Equity, LLC failed to design and construct Astor on 3rd, a new 60-unit apartment building in Astoria, Queens, in compliance with fair housing laws’ accessibility requirements.
Astor on 3rd’s marketing materials boast that the development was “[b]uilt with state of the art design” and “maximize[s] luxury and functionality for every single resident.” In reality, as detailed in the Complaint, the FHJC’s fair housing testers revealed numerous inaccessible features throughout Astor on 3rd. The FHJC’s investigation also revealed that the project’s designer, engineer Naresh Mahangu, had been previously audited and disciplined by the New York City Department of Buildings for multiple code non-compliances, including failing to comply with accessibility requirements for people with disabilities.
“For too long, developers and designers of multifamily housing in New York City have cut corners and prioritized their bottom line over the rights of New Yorkers with disabilities,” stated ECBAWM attorney Nick Bourland. “Through this suit, FHJC is sending a clear message to the industry: if you ignore fair housing laws and hire design professionals who have a reputation for ignoring accessibility requirements, you will be held accountable.”
The FHJC is represented by ECBAWM attorneys Diane Houk and Nick Bourland. The FHJC’s press release regarding the suit can be found on the FHJC’s website.