THE BRONX - The Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office has filed a discrimination lawsuit against a Bronx building owner for allegedly denying rental apartments to African-American families.

According to the lawsuit, Loventhal Silver Riverdale LLC, Goodman Management Company and Jesus Velasco told African-Americans that apartments at 3800 Independence Ave. in Riverdale were unavailable, while white families were told the opposite.

The claim alleges that the bias has been ongoing since April 2009. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race, ethnicity or religion.