Rental Bias Costs Landlord $1,000

Deidre Williams, Buffalo News, May 25, 2010

A South Buffalo landlord will have to pay a $1,000 settlement as a result of an advertisement on craigslist that described an apartment for rent in a “nice Irish neighborhood.”

Because federal and state fair-housing laws prohibit the use of preferential or discriminatory language, Housing Opportunities Made Equal [HOME] began an investigation and dispatched testers to play the role of prospective renters.

According to the federal complaint, property owner Abdul Aljamali asked an African- American tester whether she had children, which is in violation of the state’s Human Rights Law.

The white tester also was asked about children and additionally was told that “there are no coloreds here . . . I hope your husband isn’t black.”

HOME filed a discrimination complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which refereed the case to the state Division of Human Rights for investigation and adjudication.

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