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Lawsuit alleges racial bias by apartment rental company

A southeast Rochester landlord discriminated against a woman by refusing to rent her an apartment because she was African-American, state human-rights lawyers allege in a lawsuit.

The legal action, filed in state Supreme Court in Rochester, accuses Hanna Properties LLC and a company employee of engaging in “unlawful discriminatory conduct” by discouraging a prospective tenant, Janetta Cleveland, when she called about an apartment in October 2012.

The landlord’s actions “contribute to unlawful discrimination in housing in the state of New York,” the lawsuit claims.

While the merits of this lawsuit have yet to be tested in court, experts say racial discrimination in rental and owner-occupied housing persists in the Rochester area decades after federal and state laws outlawed such practices.

“It’s still out there,” a fair-housing attorney told the Democrat and Chronicle in 2013 for a story on housing discrimination that was part of the newspaper’s Unite Rochester project.

read more at the Democrat & Chronicle…