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AIDS Issues Update Blog

Dispatches from the fight against homelessness and AIDS

Housing Works’ Landmark Victory in New York Law Journal

Posted by Sunny Bjerk , December 11, 2012

Housing Works’ Landmark Victory in New York Law Journal

Image from the westsidegazette.com

Earlier last week we discussed the landmark case of Short v. Manhattan, in which Housing Works’ successfully proved that New York City’s second largest realtor, Manhattan Apartments, was guilty of discriminating against people living with HIV/AIDS by refusing to accept their HASA vouchers as rental payments.

And, days later, we also discussed our dismay that major New York City news outlets refused to cover the story, letting this landmark victory for people living with HIV/AIDS slide silently into history. Was this lack coverage a symptom of AIDS Fatigue, and is it a trend that will continue to worsen?

While we continue to watch the media’s coverage—or lack thereof—of HIV/AIDS issues, today we are proud to report that the New York Law Journal covered the case, with a great write-up of the case and its lasting effects.

From the piece:

“One of New York City’s largest real estate rental brokers and a second company will have to pay damages for discriminating against a disabled man with AIDS because he was receiving subsidies from the city’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA).

A federal judge found that Manhattan Apartments Inc. and Abba Realty Associates Inc. violated New York City’s Human Rights Law by denying housing to Keith Short once they found out that his source-of-income was HASA, a part of the city’s Department of Social Services.

In his 57-page opinion from the Southern District, Conti also ordered injunctive relief spanning three years that bans the companies from denying or withholding apartments or representing that an apartment is not available for inspection. The injunction also mandates training for current and new staff at the brokerages and clearly posted notices at their offices on their anti-discrimination policies.”

Congratulations to Housing Works’ Senior Staff Attorney Armen Merjian for this outstanding victory and his unflappable dedication to helping the city’s homeless and those living with HIV/AIDS.

You can read the full New York Law Journal article below.

Follow the Update blog on Twitter @housingworks.

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