Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Discrimination by Gentrification?

In July 2008, a federal judge gave the green light to a fair housing discrimination lawsuit against a Long Island municipality and owners of an apartment building brought by plaintiffs claiming the defendants tried to push a core Hispanic population out of town. The plaintiffs include Hofstra Law School and Hispanic tenants of the Farmingdale, N.Y. building, who had been evicted so that their aging building could be fixed up. While that part might have been agreeable to the tenants, what they didn't find appealing was the fact that the building would be redeveloped for luxury living — along with higher rents, effectively pricing these tenants out of the "Little Latin America" neighborhood. They allege the redevelopment is a maneuver by the Village of Farmingdale to drive Hispanics (including several day laborers) away through gentrification or "upscaling." The Village denies discrimination as a motive, and the owners point to their record of having rented to Hispanic tenants for years, according to a report from Newsday.

Should the plaintiffs have to prove that the Village actually harbored a discriminatory intent in recasting the building as luxury apartments? Would it matter if the plaintiffs can show that the Village treated other aging buildings in its jurisdiction differently? Should municipalities be required or expected to take into consideration the ethnic makeup of a neighborhood before taking actions that could alter it?

What do you think?


Unknown said...

do you have anymore information about that case?

jennifer lynn said...

I second that. I would like to read more about this, too.