Federal government settles civil rights suit against Westchester property management compan

WHITE PLAINS – The federal government settled a civil rights lawsuit against West-Ex Associates. Inc. and 505 Central Avenue Corp for discriminating on the basis of disability and refusing to provide reasonable accommodations as required by the Fair Housing Act.

According to the allegations in the complaint, filed this past January, 505 Central Avenue Corp. maintains a 155-unit housing cooperative in White Plains called Thompkins Manor. West-Ex acts as the property management company and handles applications for housing there.

It was alleged that between August 2013 and July 2014, the two entities repeatedly denied the application for a 34-year-old individual to purchase a one-bedroom unit based on his disabilities. The man has suffered several heart attacks and lives with congenital heart problems, developmental language disorder, learning disorders and depression.

The man and his family had requested that ownership of his unit be placed under a legal trust, which would assist him in managing the requirements of cooperative housing.

West-Ex and 505 Central Avenue were alleged to have unlawfully rejected the reasonable accommodation request on several occasions.

The charges also contended West-Ex, which manages other properties in Westchester, engaged in a practice of discrimination maintaining a stated policy of not considering requests for reasonable accommodations by applicants like the complainant.

Under terms of the settlement, the two companies must pay $125,000 including compensatory damages and attorney’s fees to the complainant and civil penalties to the government; must adopt reasonable accommodation policies and application forms approved by the government, which must be included with all future applications for housing handed out to prospective buyers; and must provide annual training regarding the Fair Housing Act and reasonable accommodations policies to current and future employees and…

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