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Hogan Lovells Achieves Pro Bono Victory Landmark in Garden City Fair Housing Act Case

26 September 2017

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Maria Woehr

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+1 212 918 6154

New York, 26 September 2017 – After over a decade long battle, Hogan Lovells, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Law Offices of Frederick K. Brewington achieved another pro bono victory for fair housing for MHANY Management Inc. and New York Communities for Change.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York recognized for a second time that a 2004 zoning decision made by the town of Garden City, in Nassau County, Long Island had an unjustified disparate impact on African Americans and Latinos, in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act. The judge affirmed that MHANY Management Inc. and New York Communities for Change had demonstrated that Garden City’s zoning decision, which restricted the development of affordable housing unjustly prevented African Americans and Latinos from residing in the community. The judge affirmed that the zoning decision made by Garden City to allegedly prevent school overcrowding and traffic could have been served by a less discriminatory alternative. The District Court’s initial ruling after a 2013 trial, found that Garden City had also acted with discriminatory intent, has remained undisturbed after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed that ruling in 2016.

“The District Court’s ruling highlights the continuing viability of disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act, and will serve as an important guidepost for other courts considering this important issue,” said Hogan Lovells senior associate Benjamin Fleming.

The Village remains subject to a remedial order that the District Court entered in 2014. That order required Garden City to adopt and implement an inclusionary zoning ordinance that mandates that 10 percent of units in new developments of five units or more be affordable to low-income households. Additionally, Garden City was ordered to join the Nassau Urban County Consortium, which disburses U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds in Nassau County, and to participate in the Consortium in good faith. In order to participate in the Consortium in good faith, Garden City must promote integrated housing to meet its duty under the Fair Housing Act to affirmatively further fair housing.

The Hogan Lovells team currently includes New York attorneys Stanley Brown, Ira Feinberg, Chava Brandriss, Ben Fleming, Dianne Milner, Allison Wuertz, Mallik Yamusah, Darcy Hansen, Gary Yeung, and paralegal Ray Torres. Many other Hogan Lovells attorneys and staff have devoted time and energy to this case since the firm filed it in 2005.

About Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells is a leading global legal practice providing business-oriented legal advice and high-quality service across its exceptional breadth of practices to clients around the world.

“Hogan Lovells” or the “firm” is an international legal practice that includes Hogan Lovells US LLP and Hogan Lovells International LLP. For more information, see www.hoganlovells.com.

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