ERASE Racism is One of the Organizations to Successfully Advocate for New Human Rights Legislation in Suffolk County

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On Tuesday, the Suffolk County Legislature expanded the County’s Human Rights Law to provide residents protection from discrimination in areas including housing, employment, credit, and public accommodations.

Percent of residents below the federal poverty line

ERASE Racism is especially pleased that residents of Suffolk County no longer have to face housing discrimination because of their source of income.

After leading the effort in achieving a strengthened fair housing law in Nassau County, which included source of income as a protected class, which took effect in 2007, ERASE Racism, as an organizer of the Housing for All Coalition, is celebrating yet another victory in the pursuit for racial equity and protection of human rights.

On Tuesday, September 10th, 2014, HR 1620 passed the Suffolk County Legislature by a unanimous vote. Advanced by County Executive Steve Bellone, the bill expands the County’s Human Rights Law to provide residents protection from discrimination in areas including housing, employment, credit, and public accommodations. According to ERASE Racism, the changes passed in the bill are a step forward for human rights in Suffolk County, benefiting a myriad of residents, including veterans, immigrants, racial and ethnic minorities, single mothers with children, and seniors.

With this passage, Suffolk now joins Nassau in expanding protections for residents against discriminatory practices. The amendments strengthen housing provisions, prohibiting discrimination against individuals based on their lawful source of income, including income derived from Social Security or housing assistance such as the Housing Choice Voucher Program (also known as Section 8). In addition these amendments prohibit realtors or sellers from refusing to make properties available to individuals based on actual or perceived race, national origin, citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, military status, and disability, among other things. The adoption of this bill not only protects Suffolk County residents against all forms of discrimination but promotes residential racial integration and economic equality.

“ERASE Racism is especially pleased that residents of Suffolk County no longer have to face housing discrimination because of their source of income. In strengthening the Human Rights Law and furthering fair housing choice, ERASE Racism commends County Executive Steve Bellone and the Suffolk County Legislature for this action," remarked ERASE Racism President Elaine Gross.

Please visit ERASE Racism's website to view Elaine Gross’s testimony in support of the bill.

About ERASE Racism: ERASE Racism is a regional organization that leads public policy advocacy campaigns and related programmatic initiatives to promote racial equity in areas such as housing, public school education and healthcare. It engages in a variety of research, education and consulting activities to identify and address institutional and structural racism, primarily on Long Island.

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Elaine Gross
ERASE Racism
+1 516-921-4863 Ext: 14
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