AG James Investigates Housing Discrimination On Long Island

AG James Investigates Housing Discrimination on Long Island

AG’s Civil Rights Bureau encourages Long Islanders to report info

LONG ISLAND – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that her office is launching an investigation into allegations of discriminatory practices by Long Island real estate agents as first reported by Newsday. The newspaper recently published the results of a three-year probe into the industry, finding fair housing violations by several of Long Island’s most prominent residential brokering firms. According to the report, agents at several firms steered undercover testers to neighborhoods whose composition matched their own race or ethnicity, directing white testers toward areas with the highest white representations and minority testers to more integrated neighborhoods. Agents also allegedly subjected minority testers to more restrictive conditions, such as requiring mortgage preapproval to view properties.

“Fair access to housing is a basic civil right that all New Yorkers, including Long Island residents, are entitled to,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “The pattern of discrimination uncovered by Newsday’s intrepid reporting raises significant concerns and calls for action. I have directed the Civil Rights Bureau in my office to investigate these serious allegations and we encourage Long Island residents to report any instances of housing discrimination. We will do everything in our power under the law to protect the civil rights of New Yorkers and ensure that no one is denied housing based on their personal background.”

The Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office enforces laws that protect all New Yorkers from discrimination in housing based on race, color, or national origin, including the Fair Housing Act and the New York State Human Rights Law. These laws generally prohibit agents from making statements about the racial makeup of a community or providing disparate services based on a customer’s race or ethnicity.

If you have questions or believe you have been a victim of housing or lending discrimination, contact the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office at 212-416-8250 or