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LI rental complex reaches $11G settlement over housing bias allegations

Brook Gardens Apartments in Bay Shore was the

Brook Gardens Apartments in Bay Shore was the subject of an investigation by Bohemia-based Long Island Housing Services. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

A Bay Shore apartment complex has paid $11,250 to resolve allegations that it discriminated against people with disabilities and those who receive housing vouchers, the nonprofit group Long Island Housing Services said.

Brook Gardens Apartments, owned by 1-49 June Court Apartments LLC, became the subject of an investigation by Bohemia-based Long Island Housing Services in 2019, after the group learned of allegations that the complex was not accepting renters with housing vouchers.

The group’s investigation turned up evidence of discrimination, said Ian Wilder, executive director of Long Island Housing Services.

"This is something that is very common, unfortunately," Wilder said. "I’m hoping that publicizing these settlements will help educate housing providers…that they cannot deny someone housing based on a lawful source of income" or a disability, he said.

The rental complex and an attorney listed as a contact in state incorporation records did not respond to calls seeking comment Friday.

Long Island Housing Services launched the investigation after it received a complaint about the complex from the nonprofit Suffolk Independent Living Organization in Medford, which provides services to people with disabilities, Wilder said.

Long Island Housing Services said Friday it sent testers to the complex to find out whether the complex was obeying federal, state and county fair housing laws, which prohibit bias against people with disabilities. State and local laws also ban discrimination against people who receive income from legal sources such as government housing vouchers for people with low incomes or disabilities. Discrimination based on race, gender and other factors also is illegal.

The group said a tester seeking an apartment for a person with disabilities was told no unit was available, while a tester without disabilities was told an apartment was open and was able to view it. In addition, testers who have housing vouchers were told the complex does not accept them and that there was a long waiting list for units, while those without vouchers were allowed to see an open apartment.

After Long Island Housing Services filed a complaint with the state Division of Human Rights, the group reached a $7,500 settlement last month with the complex, which separately paid $3,750 to Suffolk Independent Living Organization, Long Island Housing Services said. The complex also agreed to change its policies and provide fair housing training to its employees.

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