Saturday, May 09, 2015

Use Of Testers Posing As Prospective Renters Leads To Another Landlord Agreeing To Cough Up Cash To Settle Housing Discrimination Allegations; Families w/ Kids Were Segregated In Certain Buildings & Restricted To Certain Floors, Apartments In 224-Unit Complex: Feds

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Boston, Massachusetts):
  • The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Justice Department [] announced an agreement with J & R Associates, the owner and operator of the Royal Park Apartments in North Attleboro, Mass., to resolve allegations of discrimination against families with children in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

    The lawsuit, filed [] in U.S. District Court in Boston, alleges that J & R Associates discriminated against families with children seeking to rent units at Royal Park Apartments by maintaining and enforcing policies that segregate families with children in certain buildings and restrict them to certain floors and units within the 224-unit complex.

    The allegations are based on evidence generated by the Department’s Fair Housing Testing Program, in which individuals pose as renters to gather information about possible discriminatory practices.

    Under the terms of the agreement, which is in the form of a consent order and still must be approved by the Court, J & R Associates will establish a settlement fund in the amount of $135,000 to compensate victims of their discriminatory practices. The defendant also will pay $7,500 in civil penalties to the United States. The agreement requires J & R Associates to take steps to ensure that families with children no longer are restricted from renting units anywhere at Royal Park Apartments.