In January 2020, NLS, on behalf of Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), filed a lawsuit against Wingate Management Company, LLC and Buffalo Housing Associates alleging unlawful income discrimination.
In May 2018, the Erie County Legislature adopted a local law requiring rental companies and landlords with Erie County to accept social services security agreements in lieu of security deposits. An investigation by HOME showed that Wingate and Buffalo Associates were not doing so, resulting in the lawsuit.
As a result of the settlement, Wingate and Buffalo Associates must:
- Accept social services security agreement in lieu of security deposits;
- Amend their procedures for tenant selection that complies with fair housing law and ordinances;
- Use written application and lease forms that comply with fair housing law and ordinances;
- Attend a fair housing training conducted by HOME;
- Cooperate with any HOME monitoring activities; and
- Pay $6,000.
The lawsuit was handled by Nico Soria and Sharon Nosenchuck under the supervision of Grace Andriette.
If you think you have been discriminated against because you had a security agreement from the Erie County Department of Social Services, feel free to call NLS at 716-847-0650.