In light of the results of a three-year Newsday investigation into housing discrimination on Long Island, Suffolk County is seeking partners to combat such discrimination through investigations and training.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone last week announced that the county has issued a request for proposals for firms or organizations to provide housing discrimination investigations into housing providers and lenders, and a request for quotation from qualified fair housing providers that can provide fair housing education and outreach services to prevent housing discrimination and promote compliance with federal, state, and local fair housing laws.
Published in November 2019, Newsday’s “Long Island Divided” found that in 40 percent of undercover tests of real estate agents, the evidence suggested that minorities were subject to discrimination.
“The results of the three-year Newsday investigation that shined a light on a dark corner of the real estate industry were disturbing and unacceptable,” Mr. Bellone said in a statement. “Almost immediately after this report was published, we took corrective action, and today we are working to fulfill our promise to create real change for our communities and ensure this unequal treatment is no longer perpetuated.”
Mr. Bellone’s plan to combat housing discrimination also includes hiring an additional investigator for the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission to examine alleged fair housing violations, working with members of the real estate community to better educate the public of their legal rights in searching for housing, and convening stakeholders to identify ways to ensure better compliance with federal and New York state guidelines for real estate agents, according to the county executive’s office.
Deadlines for both the request for proposals and the request for quotations are due March 6 at 3:30 p.m.
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