Hofstra Law Report, Spring 2012
HOFSTRA LAW REPORT, Hofstra Law’s magazine, is published once a year by the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.
32 HOFSTRA LAW REPORT • SPRING 2012 News From the Clinics Perspectives Law Reform advocacy clinic Keeping the ‘Fair’ in the Fair Housing Act Since 2006, nearly 50 student interns in the Law Reform Advocacy Clinic have diligently represented nine Latino tenants in a case against the Village of Farmingdale for violations of the Fair Housing Act. The lawsuit, which was brought in federal court, alleges that the village recruited a private developer to purchase and renovate a 54-unit apartment complex that housed predominantly Hispanic tenants. As part of the redevelopment plan, it is alleged, the village, motivated by hostility toward Latino day laborers, intentionally targeted the only Hispanic neighborhood by eliminating the existing affordable housing in the area. While only 12.6 percent of the village’s population is Latino, the plan resulted in the displacement of 21 percent of the Latino population and only 1.2 percent of the non-Hispanic white population. After years of work on the case, the law students and their clients achieved a significant victory in March of 2011 when they overcame a motion for summary judgment brought by the village, convincing U.S. District Court Judge Denis Hurley to send the case to trial. The student interns successfully argued that there was enough evidence for a reasonable juror to find that the village’s redevelopment plan had a disparate impact on the Hispanic population, which resulted in a disproportionate deprivation of affordable housing. Over the past six years, the hardworking students at the Law Reform Clinic have litigated this case under the supervision of Professor Stefan Krieger. Their goal has been to achieve justice for their clients while ensuring further protection for future tenants from violations by municipalities of the Fair Housing Act. This recent decision means that the case of Rivera v. Incorporated Village of Farmingdale will proceed to a full trial on the merits. H ” “ The student interns successfully argued that there was enough evidence for a reasonable juror to find that the village’s redevelopment plan had a disparate impact on the Hispanic population, which resulted in a disproportionate deprivation of affordable housing. Farmingdale Village