Judge Awards Attorneys’ Fees in HIV/AIDS Housing Discrimination Case

  • June 10, 2013

Federal District Court Judge Samuel Conti granted ECBAWM’s motion for attorneys’ fees in Short v. Manhattan Apts., et al., on June 10, 2013. The lawsuit, which alleged housing discrimination by Defendants Manhattan Apartments and Abba Realty, culminated in a week-long bench trial in October 2012. The Court found that the defendants discriminated against prospective renters living with HIV/AIDS who received a housing subsidy from New York City’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration (“HASA”) and awarded damages to the individual plaintiff and the Fair Housing Justice Center (“FHJC”), which conducted corroborative testing. The decision in this case was the first to find discrimination against a HASA client under a 2008 New York City law that prohibits housing discrimination based on lawful source of income.

Judge Conti awarded $507,031.65 in fees and costs to Plaintiffs’ attorneys, noting the significance of the case and the broad injunctive relief awarded. The plaintiffs are represented by Diane L. Houk¬†of ECBAWM, along with co-counsel Armen Merjian and Robert Bacigalupi of Housing Works.