Tag Archives: AIDS

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Monday: Sunny to partly cloudy. High 72. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph. Monday night: Partly cloudy skies. Low 53. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Let’s “CUT” Cancer Out

Style Glam Salon in Fresh Meadows is hosting its first annual Benefit, Let’s “CUT” Cancer Out! We are raising money for St. Jude’s Cancer Research Hospital for Children and donating hair to “Locks of Love”, and organization that provides hair for disadvantaged children. There will be a special appearance by Tracy DiMarco Epstein from “Jerseylicious.” Face painting will be available, raffles, complimentary champagne, refreshments will be served. Proceeds will go to St, Jude’s Hospital. All are welcomed. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police ask for help in finding diabetic teen

The NYPD is asking for the public’s help in finding a Queens teenager with Type 1 diabetes who has been missing since Thursday. Read more: CBS New York

De Blasio touts housing initiative for NYC residents with HIV, AIDS

The fight against AIDS and HIV is now in its fourth decade, but many continue to work to ensure the cause doesn’t lose its urgency “because we know so many people still need our help,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday, speaking to about 300 people gathered in Central Park for the GHMC AIDS Walk. Read more: am New York

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand urges Congress to create insurance for paid maternity leave

Congress should pass legislation to create a paid maternity leave insurance program for new parents, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Sunday. Read more: New York Daily News

De Blasio expected to speak about improving web access

Mayor Bill de Blasio will have a tough act to follow when he talks tech on Monday. Read more: New York Post

“Selfie” among 149 words, phrases added to Merriam-Webster dictionary as food, digital life reign supreme

Prosecutor Steve Parks of Delta County, Michigan, says he’s pushed for more than a decade to have Merriam-Webster recognize the word Yooper, a longtime resident of the Lake Superior region. Read more: CBS News




Lawsuit claims discrimination at LeFrak City apartment complex

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

The Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) and a woman living with AIDS have filed a lawsuit against the Lefrak Organization, one of the nation’s largest real estate firms, alleging it discriminates based on disabilities and source of income.

The housing advocacy group filed the lawsuit after receiving a complaint from Housing Works, Inc., an advocacy group for people with HIV/AIDS. Housing Works said one of its clients, an unnamed 37-year-old “indigent” woman living with HIV or AIDS, was denied a studio or one-bedroom apartment at the 5,000-unit LeFrak City apartment complex in Elmhurst.

The lawsuit alleges LeFrak City denied the plaintiff’s application because she planned on paying her rent with a monthly shelter allowance from the city’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA).

“The action we take today is intended to dismantle a discriminatory system, repair the harm caused by these practices, and ensure that house opportunities are available on an equal basis to all renters with public subsidies and to New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS,” said Fred Freiberg, executive director of FHJC.

After receiving the complaint, the FHJC conducted an undercover investigation in which testers posed both as employed applicants and as applicants in the same situation as the plaintiff or with other types of rental assistance.

The investigation’s results led FHJC to conclude the Lefrak Organization and its subsidiary rental management company, Estate NY Real Estate Services, LLC, treat applicants with any kind of rental assistance differently than applicants who have their own source of income.

The lawsuit states that employed housing applicants are sent to an on-site leasing office at LeFrak City to meet with a leasing agent and receive floor plans, and that they get to see available apartments prior to filling out any applications.

On the other hand, FHJC claims applicants receiving rental assistance are sent to an off-site leasing office where they speak with employees behind a glass window, fill out rental applications, submit to credit and criminal background checks and provide documentation in order to get on a waiting list.

“Discrimination in housing is not merely odious and offensive, but it is life-threatening for thousands of indigent New Yorkers living with AIDS,” said Armen H. Merjian, senior staff attorney at Housing Works.

According to Freiberg, for thousands of people in New York City who are living with symptomatic HIV or AIDS and using an HASA rental subsidy, having a decent, stable and sanitary place to call home is critical to their health and well-being.

“We refute the allegations and are defending ourselves vigorously,” a spokesperson for the LeFrak Organization said.

The LeFrak Organization and its affiliates are one of the largest real estate holders in the U.S., with buildings in New York, California, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. In New York and New Jersey, Lefrak and its associates control over 200 apartments.