Queens Rental Complex Policy Excludes Convicts: Lawsuit

A social service group has sued a Queens rental complex, saying it has a policy that excludes ex-offenders.

Fortune Society filed the lawsuit Thursday against the owners and manager of the Sand Castle in Far Rockaway. It says such bans are illegal because they disproportionately affect black and Latino men.

The New York Times says the lawsuit is one of the latest efforts in a nationwide push to help integrate recently released prisoners into communities.

A lawyer representing the Fortune Society says the policy creates "a racial caste system" and drives ex-offenders back to prison.

The Times says the defendants didn't return calls for comment or declined to comment.

A lawyer for the Rent Stabilization Association, a landlords' group, says owners have the right to exercise their judgment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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