On February 9, 2015, the Lawyers’ Committee and pro bono counsel Cooley LLP, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip against the Village of Mastic Beach, New York and the head of Mastic Beach’s housing code enforcement, Timothy Brojer, on behalf of six tenants, two landlords and Long Island Housing Services, Inc. This federal civil rights suit, Long Island Housing Services, Inc., et al v. Village of Mastic Beach and Timothy Brojer, Case Number: 2:15-cv-00629, alleges that since incorporating in 2010, the Village has abused its newfound powers over the rental permit and code enforcement processes by waging an aggressive campaign against low-income, primarily African American, tenants receiving housing assistance, as well as their landlords, to drive such tenants out of the Village. Code enforcement officials would condemn a house or find it “unfit for human habitation” without any grounds for doing so, often forcing the tenants to move out within two hours or less. Brojer and the Village then harassed and intimidated these tenants, as well as the landlords who rented to them, in an effort to drive them out of the area. At the same time, Brojer generally allowed white tenants to remain in a home, even if there were serious health and safety concerns. Claims are brought under the federal Fair Housing Act, federal civil rights laws, the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, and the Suffolk County Human Rights Law. The complaint seeks monetary relief and an injunction to halt any continuing unlawful code enforcement activities by Mastic Beach.
Pleadings and other pertinent case related documents: