Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Lawsuit Accuses City, State of Housing Discrimination

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A lawsuit accuses the city and state of housing discrimination.

The suit claims that the city's property tax system violates the Fair Housing Act.

Lawsuit documents include a 2013 study that found that owners of expensive condos and co-ops that tend to house more white renters faced lower tax rates.

Two tenants of buildings with more minority renters are bringing the suit through attorneys for a real estate litigation firm.

"These practices are making it more difficult for the city of New York to attract and maintain diverse communities," said Randolph McLaughlin of Newman Ferrara LLP. "That's a violation of the Fair Housing Act."

"All we are asking is not that the property taxes be increased, but that they be examined and applied more fairly," said Lucas Ferrara of Newman Ferrara LLP.

"I would really like to see the playing field leveled for the working and middle class," said Rosa Rodriguez, a plaintiff in the case. "Why should those that make less pay more?"

The Fair Housing Act is a part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

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