A woman who was looking for help in finding low income housing emailed employees at a real estate company who doesn’t deal with low income housing and is now suing them for discrimination because they didn’t help her find low income housing.
According to the Daily Mail, Shaniqua Newkirk filed a lawsuit in NYC against Douglas Elliman and its agents over claims they violated discrimination laws in the Fair Housing Act.
Newkirk, a Black woman, had emailed realtors at the firm, apparently several of them, asking for help to find Section 8 housing (a fed govt. voucher program that helps poor families, disabled and the elderly find affordable housing). Some of the agents told her they had no idea what Section 8 housing voucher was, some said they couldn’t help her and others didn’t email her back at all. Is that a crime now? Not to email someone back?
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Newkirk claims she was unable to find housing prior to the expiration of her voucher and forced to remain in a “decrepit rodent and vermin-infested apartment.”
So she sued Douglas Elliman, nine of their agents, and some others who worked for the company because they failed to help her. She even sued an agent who emailed her back who told her politely that they couldn’t help her – one of the agents emailed, “At this moment I don’t have any landlords or owners that are accepting Section 8. But I will keep you in mind if anything comes to mind.”
So apparently businesses can be sued for not providing services that customers want and not emailing people back. That’s good to know. I have a long list of people I could sue for not responding to my emails and many of them work in local, state and federal government – especially the Whitmer administration who NEVER responds to my requests for comment.
If we can start suing businesses who aren’t providing what we want and when we want it, that’s a pretty large can of worms. I can sue when I can’t get a Big Mac from McDonalds. I can sue when I am told that I have to wait a month to get my car into service. I can sue because I have to wait two months to see a new doctor.
And I can sue when I have to wait four days to get a delivery from Amazon.