Hearings To Address Rampant Housing Discrimination On Long Island

WCBS 880 Newsroom
November 20, 2019 - 4:07 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Three state Senate committees will hold joint hearings in Nassau County on housing discrimination next month after a Newsday investigation of real estate practices and housing found widespread unequal treatment of minority home buyers by real estate agents on Long Island.

State Sen. Jim Gaughran called the Newsday report “very alarming.” He says “you can’t change somebody’s behavior overnight, but you can certainly influence it with laws that are going to penalize people.”

He says ways to tackle the problem will be talked about at the hearings taking place in Mineola on Dec. 12.

“We are going to look into exactly what the problem is and what possible legislative fixes there may be. I know some of it is just a matter of enforcement, so maybe we have to tinker with some of the statutes and increase penalties. We also have to look at licenses and see what the process is there to revoke licenses when people are doing this,” Gaughran said.

He says there may need to be a campaign to educate the public as well.

“Clearly there has to be more information given to the public as to what their rights are, so we can look at possible legislation to help educate the public,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Suffolk County executive unveiled a new plan to attack housing discrimination after the report was published. Executive Steve Bellone called the report “disgusting” and wants to ensure that no one on Long Island is ever discriminated against when buying a home.