Manhattan U.S. Attorney Files And Settles Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Westchester County Landlord For Discrimination Against African-Americans
Owners Agree to Remedy Numerous Violations of the Fair Housing Act and Pay $92,000 in Penalties
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that the United States has filed and settled a federal civil rights lawsuit under the Fair Housing Act against 61 MAIN STREET CORPORATION and ROSARIO MACRI for discriminating against African-Americans seeking to rent apartments at an apartment complex located at 123 South Broadway in Irvington, New York. The settlement, in the form of a consent decree, was approved today by U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Nobody should be deprived of housing opportunities based on his or her race or color. This case should be a wake-up call to any landlord or building owner who discriminates. Racial discrimination in housing is not only antithetical to the principles of fairness and equality, it is against the law.”
The apartment complex at 123 South Broadway is a 22-unit residential apartment complex located in the Village of Irvington, in Westchester County, New York. The apartment complex is owned by 61 MAIN STREET CORPORATION. ROSARIO MACRI is the president of 61 MAIN STREET CORPORATION and manages the apartment complex. According to the Complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, since at least August 2012, 61 MAIN STREET CORPORATION and ROSARIO MACRI have engaged in conduct constituting discrimination on the basis of race and color under the Fair Housing Act.
Specifically, the United States alleges that 61 MAIN STREET CORPORATION and ROSARIO MACRI have engaged in racially discriminatory housing practices, including failing to inform African-American prospective tenants about available apartments, while telling Caucasian prospective tenants, even on the same day, that apartments were in fact available. The Complaint also alleges that 61 MAIN STREET CORPORATION and ROSARIO MACRI failed to show available apartments and give rental applications to African-American prospective tenants, but showed available apartments and gave rental applications to Caucasian prospective tenants, even on the same day. In addition, the Complaint alleges that 61 MAIN STREET CORPORATION and ROSARIO MACRI provided higher rent prices and less favorable security deposit terms to African-American prospective tenants than those offered to similarly situated Caucasian prospective tenants.
The Consent Decree requires 61 MAIN STREET CORPORATION and ROSARIO MACRI, among other things, to refrain from discriminating on the basis of race in their rental practices, and to implement a non-discrimination policy and non-discriminatory standards and procedures, as set forth in the Consent Decree, at the apartment complex at 123 South Broadway. In addition, 61 MAIN STREET CORPORATION and ROSARIO MACRI will pay $60,000 into a fund for the compensation of victims of their discriminatory conduct, as well as a $32,000 civil penalty to the United States.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Civil Rights Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca S. Tinio is in charge of the case.