Nassau To Hold 1st Public Hearing To Addressing Housing Discrimination

Sophia Hall
December 11, 2019 - 1:02 pm
Laura Curran

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — A public hearing will be held Thursday in Nassau County to address the rampant housing discrimination uncovered by a Newsday investigation.

The goal of the meeting, according to local lawmakers, will be to create changes in the real estate industry.

The meeting is being held in light of a lengthy Newsday investigation that found a majority of real estate agents discriminated against minority homebuyers and often navigated them away from options in wealthy or predominately white neighborhoods.

“People should have the opportunity to live where they want,” said state Sen. Monica Martinez.

She says she will listen to those in the real estate industry to see what changes need to be made.

“We can’t paint every single realtor with the same brush. What we’re trying to see is who are the bad apples and who are not, right, and we need to protect the industry of those who are doing the right thing – and those who are not doing the right thing, to hold them accountable,” she said.

State Sen. Kevin Thomas is co-chairing the public hearing at Hofstra University and hopes to have a positive outcome.

“We’re looking at strengthening the state laws,” he said. “We’re looking at what other training these real estate agents should be getting.”

Already, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has unveiled a sweeping plan to combat housing discrimination by appointing a special housing counsel, increasing enforcement of open housing law, strengthening the Nassau County Human Rights Commission and establishing of a fair housing advisory board.