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Nov 19, 2009 1:50 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Levy signs anti-discrimination law into action

Nov 19, 2009 1:50 PM

Earlier this month, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy signed landmark legislation implementing a local law that provides prospective cooperative buyers with protection against discriminatory approval practices.

The Fairness in Cooperative Home Ownership Act, authored by Mr. Levy, requires that cooperative boards provide a written explanation within 45 days if an ownership application is rejected, and provides enforcement power through the Human Rights Commission.

“Cooperative homebuyers face a unique set of circumstances that purchasers of single-family homes do not, in that approval is required from the board of directors,” wrote Mr. Levy in a press release. “This law will ensure that no cooperative home purchaser is denied because of their race, perceived race, ethnicity, creed, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation.”

In 2006, Mr. Levy worked with legislative colleagues and ERASE Racism to pass legislation giving the county stronger tools in combating racial steering and discriminatory housing practices. This year, the Fairness in Cooperative Home Ownership Act legislation was developed with the support of the Long Island Board of Realtors.

“In this day and age, people with the last name of Diaz, or Wang or Patel should be able to pursue the same American dream of home ownership as those with the last name of Smith or Jones,” Mr. Levy wrote.

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So does this mean that all of the 55 and over communities are going to have to change their rules and regulations? Or does it not apply to them?
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on Nov 19, 09 11:37 PM
Great point!
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 25, 09 7:53 AM
The article refers to cooperatives - most 55 and over communities are condos. I would imagine the rules are different regarding age in that case.
By for truth and justice (11), Westhampton on Nov 29, 09 9:27 AM