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New anti-bias law takes effect in Hempstead

Calling Hempstead ?one of Long Island?s most diverse

Calling Hempstead “one of Long Island’s most diverse communities,” Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. said in the statement: “We want to send a strong message that discriminatory housing practices will not be tolerated.” (Credit: John Dunn, 2010)

A new law in Hempstead aims to protect buyers of co-op apartments from discrimination.

The boards of cooperative buildings in the village must accept or reject applicants within 45 days, and if they deny an application, they must give a reason in writing, according to a statement released Thursday by the Long Island Board of Realtors. Boards must also give applicants notice in writing within 10 days that they have received an application.

The law protects co-op applicants from bias based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, familial status, creed, ancestry, marital status, presence of children, pregnancy and gender identity. The measure, which took effect in June, was modeled after a 2009 Suffolk County law, according to the Long Island Board of Realtors. The group hopes Nassau County will pass a similar law.

The group’s president, Donald Scanlon, called the measure “long overdue” in the statement yesterday.  “Co-op boards have virtually unlimited power to do as they please,” he said. “Co-op discrimination is known to be very blatant and out in the open. In this day and age, that behavior cannot be tolerated.”

Calling Hempstead “one of Long Island’s most diverse communities,” Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. said in the statement: “We want to send a strong message that discriminatory housing practices will not be tolerated.”

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