Board passes bill aimed to end discrimination in co-op selling process

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WHITE PLAINS -

A bill passed by the Westchester Board of Legislators aims to end discrimination in the co-op buying and selling process.

Westchester County Legislator Catherine Borgia says a bill passed Monday night by the board will speed up the co-op buying and selling process and help end discriminatory practices.

Kenneth Finger, who represented several co-op boards as the bill was hammered out, says it’s a fair compromise. It will require co-op boards to tell buyers whether their application is accepted or rejected within 60 days, and will report rejections to the county's Human Rights Commission.

Realtor Barry Kramer says compromise or not, he's disappointed the bill does not require co-op boards to give a reason why an application is rejected.

Finger says it would hurt business.

"There is a great concern that if you have to provide a reason for rejecting somebody there will be ‘he said, she said’ dispute that would lead to litigation,"  he says.

The Human Rights Commission can investigate rejections under the county's Fair Housing law.

The bill now heads to the desk of County Executive George Latimer for his signature and final approval.

Suffolk County on Long Island is one of the only other counties in the state to institute a similar law.

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