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ARTICLE ID 195838

$________ – Discrimination – DOJ – FHA – Largest co-op in America accused of discriminating against people with service animals – Alleged violation of Fair Housing Act.

U.S. District Court, Southern, New York

In this discrimination action, the United States accused the largest cooperative development in the United States of discriminating against disabled persons with assistance animals. The suit was resolved with a settlement filed simultaneously with the complaint.

The defendant, RiverBay Corporation, located in the Bronx, New York, is the owner and operator of Co-op City, the largest affordable housing cooperative in the United States, with approximately ________ residential units and ________ residents. The defendant was accused of failing to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled people who required service or assistance animals. Specifically, the defendant allegedly maintained and employed an overly-burdensome and intrusive policy governing waivers to its no-pets rule, which deterred and prevented persons with disabilities from obtaining reasonable accommodations, in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act.

The United States filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, accusing the defendant, RiverBay, of housing discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The United States sought damages for those affected by the alleged discrimination, as well as civil penalties.The matter was resolved with a settlement, in which the defendant will pay up to $________ in civil penalties, and dedicate as much as $________ to compensate people who have been harmed by inadequate accessibility at Co-op City. The defendant will also adopt the reasonable accommodation policy regarding assistance animals that is included in the consent decree. Parties entitled to receive monetary compensation are residents of RiverBay or those associated with RiverBay who were prevented or discouraged from requesting to keep an assistance animal, denied a request to keep an assistance animal, and/or harassed or otherwise interfered with after requesting to keep an assistance animal.

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