Park Slope has become so synonymous with baby strollers that actor Patrick Stewart half-jokingly tried to start a ban in 2014. The son-in-law of a landlord was already onboard, telling a prospective renter with a pregnant wife that there would be “no babies” in the building, setting off a housing discrimination complaint.
As the story goes, Adam DiLeo went to Mohamed Shahbain’s three-story building at 451 11th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues to look at an apartment. Shahbain’s son-in-law answered the door and told DiLeo, “No, no babies” after learning DiLeo’s wife was pregnant.
DiLeo, a lawyer, filed a housing discrimination complaint on the grounds that the city’s human rights law prohibits landlords from refusing tenants because they have children.
The city’s Commission on Human Rights sided with DiLeo and found probable cause that Shahbain discriminated against the couple. The commission recommended Shahbain attend human rights training and pay DiLeo $5,000 for “mental anguish,” DNAinfo.com reported.
Shahbain argued that his son-in-law, who lives on the first floor of the building, had no authorization to show the apartment or screen potential tenants. Shahbain also said he previously rented apartments to families with children and raised his own eight children in the building.
An administrative law judge later ruled in Shahbain’s favor. The city’s Commission on Human Rights appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court, where a judge threw out the commission’s recommendation.