- Passage of a package of laws designed to combat housing discrimination across New York state. The FHJC served as a consultant on a landmark investigative report in Newsday, Long Island Divided, which uncovered the discriminatory practices of real estate agents and companies on Long Island. The story helped shape a variety of bills and push for their passage, resulting in nine new state laws that cover a broad range of issues, including new training requirements for real estate professionals, directions to state and local agencies to enforce fair housing laws, and increased financial resources to fight housing discrimination.
- A lawsuit resolution with real estate giant Redfin. The FHJC and nine other fair housing organizations from across the country settled a lawsuit against Redfin Corporation that will expand opportunities for consumers in communities of color on Long Island and across the nation. The ten organizations alleged that Redfin’s minimum home price policy discriminated against buyers and sellers of homes in communities of color, perpetuating racial segregation and contributing to the racial wealth gap; Redfin was perpetuating the historic redlining rooted in generations of discrimination. Redfin agreed to significant changes in how it conducts business and over $4 million in damages, including investments in homeownership for people of color.
- Working on behalf of people with disabilities to hold real estate developers accountable when they design and construct buildings that are not accessible, by bringing enforcement actions against them which result in fully accessible housing. Through two settlements, the FHJC helped to enforce accessibility requirements at three luxury apartment buildings, the Forge, Ashland, and Nicole, which are all owned by the same group and have nearly 1,000 units between them. The FHJC also expanded its use of the Adele Friedman Housing Accessibility Fund (AFHAF), which provides financial and other assistance to people with disabilities seeking needed modifications to their homes.
- Continuing the fight against source-of-income (SOI) discrimination, which has been illegal in New York City for nearly fifteen years and statewide for three years. The FHJC conducted dozens of investigations and filed several lawsuits in 2022 alleging discrimination by housing providers who refuse to rent to voucher holders. For details, look at some of our lawsuits filed in August and May.
- Fighting for the rights of Deaf and hard of hearing people to receive access to addiction treatment in residential facilities. Through lawsuit resolutions, the FHJC has helped to ensure that people who are Deaf or hard of hearing will now be provided interpreters, allowing them to access lifesaving treatment. To raise awareness about this critical issue and reach those who need treatment, the FHJC released a short educational video, featuring Academy Award nominee Paul Raci (Sound of Metal).
- Growing to its largest size ever, with 17 full-time employees and hundreds of testers. This has allowed us to gain more momentum in our fight to make New York open, accessible, and inclusive. The FHJC has a new Executive Director, Elizabeth Grossman, and a new Board President, Anne Nacinovich. Both are excited to build on the organization’s strong foundation and to continue the pursuit of FHJC’s mission with more resources than ever before.
These are just a few highlights from a busy year. With your help, we can make 2023 even more remarkable.