A Bronx landlord is being sued by the Justice Department for race discrimination, a civil rights violation in New York. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara filed the civil rights violation lawsuit against the landlord, management company and superintendent for allegedly discriminating against African-Americans.
According to the complaint, Loventhal Silver Riverdale LLC, Goodman Management Co. and superintendent Jesus Velasco had "engaged in conduct constituting illegal discrimination" since at least April 2009. The complaint also alleges the building of violating the Fair Housing Act (FHA).
The federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for a landlord to refuse an apartment or house rental application based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. In addition, New York civil rights laws make it illegal to refuse to rent to person based on characteristics such as marital status and sexual orientation.
As reported by CBS New York, four teams of testers visited the building, posing as would-be-renters. In all cases the African-Americans were allegedly discouraged and whites were helped. For example, as reported by the New York Daily News, Velasco refused to give a black tester a rental application on April 8, 2009, but a short while later provided a white tester an application, according to the application.
More information is available at CBS New York.