Brooklyn Race Discrimination Case Settles for $75,000

The New York Open Housing Center (OHC) and 8 Black tester/plaintiffs settled a class action lawsuit against Abram and Ephraim Landau of Boro Park, Brooklyn for $75,000. The case, conducted by Phyllis Spiro, OHC's Deputy Director, was settled in July when a consent agreement between the parties was approved by Judge Carol Amon of the Federal Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The Landaus, whose office is at 5225 15th Avenue in Boro Park, have agreed that for three years they will set-aside one third of all available apartments in 19 apartment buildings (which have a total of 1036 units) and list them with the Open Housing Cen ter exclusively for a period of 7 days. Qualified people of color in the Center's registry will be referred to the apartments and offered the opportunity to rent.

The apartments are in well maintained, elevator buildings in Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Kings Highway, Bensonhurst, Boro Park and Bay Ridge, all of which are predominantly white neighborhoods in Brooklyn that have excellent services, shopping and transport ation.

The lawsuit was based on testing conducted by the Center, which sent teams of Blacks and whites to inquire about vacancies at the defendants' office. The Center alleged that whites were told of availabilities, while Blacks were denied the same informatio n or steered away from requested areas.

Funds to monitor this 3 year agreement will be paid to the Center. The agreement requires reporting all rental activity and fair housing training by the Center for employees.

Sylvia Kramer, the Executive Director of the Center says "The set-aside remedy, achieved in this suit, provides excellent housing opportunites for people of color and makes choices available that we believe are blocked by discriminatory practices."