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News From the Clinics Law Reform Advocacy Clinic

Keeping the ‘Fair’ in the Fair Housing Act Since







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

Farmingdale Village

and their clients achieved a significant victory in

March of 2011 when they overcame a motion for

The student interns successfully

summary judgment brought by the village, convincing

argued that there was enough

U.S.  District Court Judge Denis Hurley to send the

evidence for a reasonable

that there was enough evidence for a reasonable

case to trial. The student interns successfully argued

juror to find that the village’s

juror to find that the village’s redevelopment plan

redevelopment plan had a

which resulted in a disproportionate deprivation of

had a disparate impact on the Hispanic population, affordable housing.

disparate impact on the Hispanic

Over the past six years, the hardworking students

population, which resulted in a

at the Law Reform Clinic have litigated this case under

disproportionate deprivation of

goal has been to achieve justice for their clients while

affordable housing.

Hofstra Law Report • SPRING 2012

the supervision of Professor Stefan Krieger. Their 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. 32


Hofstra Law Report, Spring 2012