[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven 6-16-1987 by L.L. No. 7-1987. Amendments noted where applicable.]
In the Town of Brookhaven, with its population consisting of people of various races, creeds, colors and national origins, there is no greater danger to the health, morals, safety and welfare of the Town and its inhabitants than the existence of groups and individuals reflecting prejudice against one another and antagonistic to each other because of differences of race, creed, color or national origin. The Town Board hereby finds and declares that acts of prejudice, intolerance, bigotry and discrimination which deny a person the opportunity to sell, purchase, lease or rent or obtain financing for the purchase or lease of housing accommodations because of race, creed, color or national origin threaten the fundamental rights and privileges of the inhabitants of the Town of Brookhaven and undermine the foundations of a free democratic state. The Town Board further declares it to be the public policy of the Town of Brookhaven to eliminate and prevent discrimination and involuntary segregation based on race, creed, color or national origin and to safeguard the right of every person to sell, purchase, lease or rent or obtain financing for the purchase or lease of housing accommodations without regard to race, creed, color or national origin.
The Town Board further declares it to be the public policy of the Town of Brookhaven to require that every department or other subdivision of said Town which may be involved in any construction programs for road building or recreational construction programs which could involve the removal or replacement of persons from their present living accommodations and their resettlement elsewhere (or which endeavor to implement any public or publicly assisted or public-approved housing or relocation plan) notify the Town Board of such action planned so that it may receive from the Town Board such recommendations as, in the judgment of the Board, will aid in effectuating the purpose of this chapter, including the elimination or minimization of involuntary segregation in housing within the Town.
In accordance with this policy, it shall be the duty of all Town officers, officials and employees to exercise any governmental function relating to the use, sale or occupancy of land, real property or housing accommodations in such a manner consistent with law so that all patterns of involuntary racially segregated housing existing in this Town are eliminated and that the creation of any such patterns is prevented to the maximum extent that such a result can be achieved by such action.
When used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- HOUSING ACCOMMODATION
- Any place permitted for human habitation by the Town of Brookhaven.
- LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE
- Includes any attorney at law hereafter designated by the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven to prosecute violations of this chapter.
- NATIONAL ORIGIN
- Includes ancestry.
- Includes one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, corporations, legal representatives, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy or receivers. The plural shall include the singular and vice versa.
The Town Clerk is authorized to receive complaints in affidavit form setting out in detail the facts concerning violations of this chapter and, within one week after receipt of such complaint, to forward the same to the legal representative of the Town, who will take the necessary action to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
No person or agent acting on his own behalf or on behalf of another shall:
Refuse to sell, rent or lease any housing accommodation or land to any person or group of persons or refuse to negotiate for the sale, rental or lease of any housing accommodation or land to any person or group of persons because of race, creed, color or national origin of such person or persons or represent that any housing accommodation or land is not available for inspection, sale, rental or lease when in fact it is so available or otherwise deny or withhold any housing accommodation or land or any facilities of any housing accommodation or land from any person or group of persons because of the race, creed, color or national origin of such person or persons.
Discriminate against any person because of his race, creed, color, ancestry or national origin in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, rental or lease of any housing accommodations or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith.
Print or circulate or cause to be printed or circulated any statement, advertisement or publication or use any form or application for the purchase, rental or lease of any housing accommodation or land or make any record of inquiry in connection with the prospective purchase, rental or lease of any housing accommodation or land which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to race, creed, color or national origin or any intent to make such limitation, specification or discrimination.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
The rental of a housing accommodation in a building which contains housing accommodations for not more than two families living independently of each other if the owner or members of his family reside in one of such housing accommodations.
The rental of a room or rooms in a housing accommodation of not more than four individuals at any one time if such rental is by the occupant of the housing accommodation or by the owner of the housing accommodation and he or members of his family reside in such housing accommodation.
No person, bank, trust company, private banker, savings bank, industrial bank, savings and loan association, credit union, investment company, mortgage company, insurance company or other financial institution or lender, doing business in the Town (and if incorporated, regardless of whether incorporated under the laws of the State of New York, the United States or any other jurisdiction), or any officer, agent or employee thereof, to which or to whom application is made for financial assistance for the purchase, acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, repair or maintenance of any housing accommodation or land shall:
Discriminate against any such applicant or applicants because of the race, creed, color or national origin of such applicant or applicants or of any member, stockholder, director, officer or employee of such applicant or applicants or of the prospective occupants or tenants of such housing accommodation or land in the granting, withholding, extending or renewing or in the fixing of the rates, terms or donations of any such financial assistance.
Use any form or application for such financial assistance or make any record of inquiry in connection with applications for such financial assistance which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination because of race, creed, color or national origin.
No person shall aid, abet, incite, compel or coerce the doing of any of the acts forbidden under this chapter or attempt to do so.
No person engaged in any activity to which this chapter applies shall retaliate or discriminate against any person because he has opposed any practices forbidden under this chapter or because he has filed a complaint, testified or assisted in any proceeding under this chapter.
No application for a building permit for a housing accommodation submitted after this chapter takes effect shall be valid unless it bears the printed and signed statement that the permit applicant understands and will comply with this chapter.
Any person convicted of violating this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 days, or may be ordered to make available to the complainant the premises involved, or by all or any combination of such fine, imprisonment and order; provided, however, that if the court in which the complaint is filed has no power to impose both a fine or imprisonment and an order requiring the availability of the premises involved, the court may impose, in lieu of a sentence of a fine and/or imprisonment, a sentence of conditional discharge pursuant to § 65.05 of the Penal Law, one of the conditions of such discharge being that the defendant make available to the complainant the premises involved.
In order to prevent the rental or sale of housing accommodations under investigation in the period after a complaint is filed with the Town Clerk but before an injunction is obtained, the legal representative may post for 15 days a notice on said housing accommodation when the person or persons charged refuse to agree, in writing, not to sell or rent during the pendency of the Town action against him or them.
Any person or persons who remove the posted notices shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter.
In order further to prevent the rental or sale of the housing accommodations in such an action, the legal representative may seek from a judge or justice of any court of competent jurisdiction a temporary injunction or restraining order to prevent the disposition of the housing accommodation to other than the complainant during the pendency of the complaint alleging discrimination.