Firm Files Discrimination Lawsuit on Behalf of Fair Housing Justice Center

June, 2024 - New York, New York

On June 13, 2024, Patterson Belknap attorneys, along with pro bono partner Mobilization for Justice, filed a disability discrimination lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on behalf of the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) against the owners and operators of multiple Adult Care Facilities (ACFs) that provide housing and services to New Yorkers with disabilities. The lawsuit accuses Defendants of discrimination against prospective residents who use wheelchairs.

In 2023, the FHJC conducted an investigation into Defendants' facilities. Testers posed as family members seeking admission information on the facilities for their relatives, who use wheelchairs. The FHJC collected evidence proving Defendants' blanket policy of rejecting prospective residents who use wheelchairs, rather than conducting a standard eligibility assessment or offering reasonable accommodations. Defendants told testers whose relatives use wheelchairs to pursue housing opportunities elsewhere, or failed to follow up after promising to. In contrast, testers whose relatives did not use wheelchairs were able to proceed with the application process.

The complaint alleges that Defendants' discriminatory policies against prospective residents who use wheelchairs violate the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

To read the complaint, please click here.

To read FHJC's announcement, please click here.