Public Notices and Press Releases

Coldwell Banker Realty Settles Allegations of Housing Discrimination for $40,000

Settlements Include $40,000 in Penalties for Alleged Violations of the LAD’s Prohibition of Discrimination Based on Source of Lawful Income

TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey's Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, in conjunction with the Division on Civil Rights (DCR), has announced the resolution of four cases against Coldwell Banker Realty, addressing alleged violations of the state's Law Against Discrimination (LAD). The real estate brokerage was accused of refusing to accept housing vouchers, thereby discriminating against potential tenants based on their source of lawful income.

The complaints, initiated by the Housing Rights Initiative (HRI), a nonprofit watchdog focused on housing discrimination, arose after HRI testers were reportedly informed by agents at Coldwell Banker Realty that properties advertised for rent would not accept Section 8 housing vouchers. This occurred in three properties located in Jersey City and one in Hackensack, with the implicated Coldwell Banker offices based in Hoboken, Jersey City, and Upper Montclair.

Following these allegations, Coldwell Banker Realty has agreed to pay $40,000 in penalties, with each of the four cases resulting in a $10,000 fine to DCR. Moreover, separate agreements with HRI stipulate that Coldwell Banker will avoid any future discrimination based on income source. Additionally, the company has committed to providing fair housing training to its employees and to employ staff knowledgeable in handling housing vouchers to aid agents in processing these payments.

We are standing up for New Jerseyans and their right to access housing using government rental assistance,” said Attorney General Platkin. “The settlements announced today send a clear message: if you impede or hinder that access, we will hold you accountable. The Law Against Discrimination is one of the strongest civil rights laws in the country, and we are not afraid to use it.”

Fighting housing discrimination is one of our core priorities. The resolutions announced today underscore our commitment to enforcing those protections – and to ensuring that participants in the housing market, including real estate agencies, comply with the law,” said Sundeep Iyer, Director of the Division on Civil Rights. “We are grateful to organizations like Housing Rights Initiative for their work in protecting the housing rights of all New Jerseyans.

The settlements not only address financial penalties but also mandate proactive steps by Coldwell Banker Realty to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws. This includes immediate improvements in training and resources for Coldwell Banker agents to adequately support potential tenants who utilize government rental assistance programs.

This resolution underscores the ongoing efforts by New Jersey’s authorities to enforce laws designed to prevent housing discrimination and ensure equal opportunities for all residents, particularly in securing rental housing regardless of income sources. Attorney General Platkin emphasized the importance of upholding the LAD to protect against discriminatory practices in housing, reflecting New Jersey's commitment to fair and equal treatment for all home seekers.

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