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Mercer Daily Voice serves East Windsor, Ewing Township, Hamilton Township, Hightstown, Hopewell, Lawrence, Pennington, Princeton, Robbinsville, Trenton, West Windsor & Windsor

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News

AG: Real Estate Company Settles Rent Discrimination Lawsuit

Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey Attorney General.
Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey Attorney General. Photo Credit: New Jersey OAG Facebook

A major real estate company has settled a complaint for discriminating against a tenant based on income, according to Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal.

The manager of a 237-unit apartment complex in North Jersey has agreed to pay a former prospective tenant $30,000 to resolve allegations the company unlawfully rejected him because he planned to pay with federal Section 8 housing assistance, Grewal said on Friday.

Tower Management Services, L.P., which manages Ivy Lane Apartments in Bergenfield and at least 17 other apartment complexes, also has agreed to make significant policy changes across all of its properties to protect applicants seeking to use rental assistance to pay for housing, according to Grewal.

“Individuals and families who rely on Section 8 housing assistance have just as much right to safe and affordable housing as anyone else,” Grewal said. “Too often, those who seek to pay rent using government assistance are turned away for no reason other than bias-driven stereotypes."

Tower Management was accused of unlawfully discriminating against the prospective tenant by turning him away for a one-bedroom unit because he failed to meet a $33,000 minimum annual income requirement at Ivy Lane, the attorney general said.

That requirement did not take into account any public assistance that a tenant might receive, Grewal said.

In this case, the prospective tenant would have been responsible for covering no more than $386 of his overall monthly rent of $995, while the balance would have been paid by the federal Section 8 program. 

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