Cuomo Orders State Investigation Into Landlords Discriminating Against Immigrants

“These allegations of fear and intimidation are unacceptable, illegal, and run counter to everything New York represents,” Cuomo said. (HANS PENNINK/AP)Gov. Cuomo has ordered a multi-agency investigation into whether landlords across the state are discriminating against immigrants — including asking them to prove their citizenship or face eviction.

The Daily News reported exclusively on Sunday night that 23 apartments in a building on 42nd Ave. near Junction Blvd. in Corona, Queens had received such a letter.

“If you fail to comply, we may have to terminate your lease and may have to evict you from the apartment,” the notice read.

Cuomo directed the state Division on Human Rights and departments of state and homes and community renewal to investigate the actions at the building, which is owned by Jaideep Reddy of Long Island. Cuomo said the probe would also seek to determine whether a broader problem exists statewide. And the state will create an education campaign for landlords and tenants.

“These allegations of fear and intimidation are unacceptable, illegal, and run counter to everything New York represents,” Cuomo said.

The existence of the letter became public after a constituent complained to state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens) last week.

A furious Peralta filed a complaint Monday to the office of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“This is unreal, and sadly, it seems that it’s open season against immigrants since the election of Donald Trump,” Peralta said.

Schneiderman’s office sent Reddy a sharply-worded cease-and-desist missive Monday that said his letter violates city and state law in several ways.

“The OAG will not tolerate threats of eviction and other forms of tenant harassment based on immigration status,” Special Counsel Jessica Attie wrote.

City officials said they learned of the letter on Friday and issued their own cease-and-desist letter.

Mayor de Blasio held it up during his weekly appearance on NY1’s “Road to City Hall” Monday, pointing to the part that said Reddy could face up to $250,000 in fines if he doesn’t comply with the city’s orders.

By Kenneth Lovett,and Graham Rayman for New York Daily News
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