Omni, four other big landlords accused of tenant discrimination

Human Rights Commission says property owners illegally refused to rent to Section 8 tenants

River Park Residences in the Bronx and Mo Vaughn (Credit: Reliant Realty Services and Getty Images)
River Park Residences in the Bronx and Mo Vaughn (Credit: Reliant Realty Services and Getty Images)

Former Mets slugger Mo Vaughn is one of five landlords charged by the city’s Human Rights Commission with discriminating against tenants on federal assistance programs.

According to the commission, River Park Residences in the Bronx is one of the buildings allegedly refusing to rent to tenants who use Section 8 vouchers and similar public assistance. The Mitchell Lama complex is run by Omni New York, the real estate firm co-founded by Vaughn and Eugene Schneur.

The commission also charged the Parkchester South Condominiums in the Bronx, as well as real estate firms Goldfarb Properties, Martini Properties and ABECO Management. The firms jointly control 20,000 units in the city according to a statement released by the commission.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

According to the commission, one prospective tenant was told that the landlord “accepted everything except LINC vouchers” while another was reportedly told that the landlord doesn’t accept any vouchers whatsoever.

Spokespeople for River Park and Goldfarb denied discriminating against tenants. The firms face potential fines if the charges are substantiated.

Omni [TRDataCustom] says it spent over $116 million to renovate the four-building River Park complex in 2015. The real estate firm received financing from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal agency, which provided tax-exempt bonds, tax credits and a refinancing of former debt.

In 2014, Schneur told The Real Deal that 80 percent of Omni’s tenants received Section 8 vouchers. [NYDN]Konrad Putzier