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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

New York AG investigates housing discrimination on Long Island

State Issues State Attorney General Fair Lending

State Issues

On November 19, the New York attorney general’s office announced the launch of a Civil Rights Bureau investigation into allegations that Long Island real estate agents have engaged in discriminatory practices. The announcement follows a newspaper’s recent publication of findings based on a three-year examination of residential brokering firms, where, according to the report, several agents allegedly (i) “steered undercover testers to neighborhoods whose composition matched their own race or ethnicity”; (ii) directed white testers to neighborhoods with the highest white representations, whereas minority testers were sent to more integrated areas; and (iii) subjected minority testers to financial bars that were not imposed on white testers, such as requiring mortgage preapproval in order to view properties. The AGs office encourages Long Island residents to report any instances of housing discrimination. 

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