FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 25, 2023 For more information contact: Sally Santangelo, Executive Director, CNY Fair Housing, (315) 551-7093 or firstname.lastname@example.org CNY FAIR HOUSING SETTLES LAWSUIT ALLEGING HOUSING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST NON-ENGLISH SPEAKERS Syracuse, NY-- CNY Fair Housing has reached a settlement agreement resolving a federal housing discrimination lawsuit which alleged that the owners and managers of two apartment complexes in DeWitt, New York refused to rent to individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP). While language is not a protected class under federal and state fair housing laws, CNY Fair Housing alleged that refusing to rent to LEP households has a discriminatory impact on prospective renters based on both national origin and race. The owners of the two apartment complexes denied the allegations in the complaint and do not admit any liability or wrongdoing but agreed to a voluntary resolution of the lawsuit to avoid the expense and inconvenience of litigation. Under the settlement, the owners and their leasing agents agreed to rent to qualified LEP applicants and to take additional actions intended to facilitate communications between property management and LEP individuals. Such actions include the translation of application and leasing documents into the four languages most frequently spoken by LEP individuals in the Syracuse area: Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Vietnamese. In addition, the apartment complexes will provide oral language interpreters if needed by LEP tenants to understand important communications from property management, including lease violation notices and lease termination or non-renewal notices. The owners of the apartment complexes also agreed to make a payment of $40,000 to CNY Fair Housing to settle the matter and to further CNY Fair Housing’s fair housing education and outreach activities, including for service providers that work with LEP groups in the area. “Language-based rental restrictions make the already challenging task of finding a safe and affordable home that much harder for recent immigrants and other LEP individuals,” said CNY Fair Housing’s Executive Director, Sally Santangelo. “We’re pleased to reach a resolution of this case that will help to ensure that all members of our community are able to secure the housing of their choice, regardless of their English proficiency.”
### _____________________________________________ CNY Fair Housing is a nonprofit organization that works to eliminate housing discrimination, promote open communities, and ensure equal access to housing opportunity for all people in Central and Northern New York.