Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has announced two new partnerships with the Long Island Housing Partnership, Inc. and ERASE Racism to provide fair housing training, education and outreach services. The training, education and outreach services are part of the County’s efforts to prevent housing discrimination and promote compliance with federal, state, and local fair housing laws.
“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,” said County Executive Bellone. “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.”
Earlier this year, the County issued a Request for Quotes (RFQ) to establish a list of qualified Fair Housing Providers to provide fair housing education and outreach services to prevent housing discrimination and promote compliance with fair housing laws. Collectively, the two organizations selected offer more than 50 years of experience combating the lack of affordable housing, institutional and structural racism, and other factors that pose impediments to equitable and fair housing.
Long Island Housing Partnership and ERASE Racism will be responsible for conducting workshops, training, education, and outreach for target audiences comprised of consumers, providers, minorities, and protected classes. The organizations will also engage in public service efforts focused on educating residents and businesses of their respective rights and responsibilities under the fair housing laws.
Following a three-year Newsday investigation that determined evidence of disparate treatment of potential minority home buyers and minority communities on Long Island, last November County Executive Bellone unveiled a comprehensive plan to combat housing discrimination.
The County’s comprehensive plan included hiring an additional investigator for the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission to examine alleged fair housing violations, convening stakeholders to identify solutions to ensure better compliance of federal and New York state guidelines for real estate agents, and an increased focus on public education and training.