Boston, MA

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz creates new Civil Rights Unit

February 21, 2016
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, of the District of Massachusetts, announced Tuesday a new Civil Rights Unit aimed toward enforcing civil rights laws and changing the manner in which Massachusetts handles the equal protection of each individual.
     The new unit, which will function within the Civil Division, plans to work with many local communities, advocacy groups and other federal and state agencies to help make a change in issues of civil rights, according to the release.
     “We are committed to ensuring a level playing field for all residents in the Commonwealth, advancing equal opportunity, and educating the public about their rights and responsibilities,” Ortiz said in the release. “I can think of no better way to further this mission than by creating a unit comprised of attorneys and staff who are dedicated solely to enforcing and promoting federal civil rights.”
     The release stated that the unit is designed to ensure that the rights of everyone are protected, including those of “the most vulnerable and underserved” citizens of the commonwealth.

Another landlord accused of discriminating against renters with kids

June 24, 2015
You may think your kids are awesome. But does your landlord or condo association? Maybe, maybe not.
     A North Attleborough apartment complex owner is on the hook for $135,000 in restitution after a real estate agent leasing units at the Royal Park Apartments allegedly steered families with children into certain buildings and floors.
     A government testing agent, who met with a real estate agent leasing apartments at Royal Park, was given a rather blunt explanation why some buildings had a mix of adult renters and families with children, despite efforts to the contrary.
     “You will see some kids there ’cause if they are born there I can’t throw them away. They have to stay there,” the agent said, according to the court complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Massachusetts lawyer accused of targeting Latinos in loan modification scam

May 11, 2015
The Boston Herald is reporting today about a Massachusetts lawyer named David Yak who is accused by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination for targeting Latinos in an alleged loan modification fraud ring. He is said to have conned struggling homeowners like Marlon Hernandez, 39, a father of three who works two jobs to support his family out of $5,600.
     The Herald reported that the "Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has ordered a Revere attorney to pay $233,600, saying he discriminated against 17 Latino homeowners by targeting them with predatory and deceptive mortgage modification advertising.
     David Zak denies the charges and said he is appealing. But he could face another $557,000 in civil penalties and restitution for about 65 consumers who filed complaints with Attorney General Maura Healey, alleging similar business practices.

Coldwell Banker settles discrimination allegations with Massachusetts

February 19, 2015
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage reached a settlement with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Wednesday over allegations that it discriminated against renters with children.
     The real estate company will create new anti-discrimination policies and some of its agents will be required to attend fair housing training. The company also will pay approximately $17,500 to the Commonwealth, including $5,000 for the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.
     The settlement follows allegations that Coldwell Banker agent Matthew Gore posted rental ads on Craigslist that discouraged families with children from applying.

Faisal defends record, promises improvement

August 13, 2014
Controversial Boston landlord Anwar N. Faisal said he was disappointed to be accused of being one of the city’s worst slumlords, but told the city council on Wednesday that he is taking major strides to improve the maintenance of his apartments and to be more responsive to tenants’ concerns.
     In his first public remarks since a Globe Spotlight series identified him as one of the most complained-about landlords who cater to college students, Faisal said that he recently hired a half dozen new maintenance employees and started sending inspectors to the more than 1,000 apartment units he controls in the city.
     But Faisal rejected any suggestion that he deliberately ignores tenant concerns or that his company, Alpha Management Corp., discriminates against potential tenants based on race, a charge that Attorney General Martha Coakley is currently investigating.

Landlord is ordered to appear before City Council

July 31, 2014
Controversial Boston landlord Anwar N. Faisal must appear at a City Council committee hearing next month or face possible arrest, after a formal summons was unanimously approved Wednesday.
     Councilors voted 13 to 0 Wednesday to compel Faisal to appear before the Housing Committee on Aug. 13 to discuss the business practices of his company, Alpha Management Corp.
     Councilors said they want to explore with Faisal the company’s relationship with Northeastern University, and the city’s recent findings on a discrimination case involving a student there.

Massachusetts housing company charged with violating housing laws

October 23, 2013
An Arlington property management company and a real estate firm in Boston have recently agreed to pay a total of $11,200 and implement new policies to avoid future fair housing violations, resolving allegations of discrimination against disabled individuals, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
     Under the two separate assurances of discontinuance, recently filed in Suffolk Superior Court, both defendants must provide reasonable accommodations in a timely manner to tenants or clients in Massachusetts and their employees must attend training on fair housing laws.
     “Individuals with disabilities must be afforded the same access to quality housing and services as any other resident of the Commonwealth,” AG Coakley said. “We expect housing providers to take reasonable steps to accommodate individuals with disabilities, and are pleased that these settlements will help implement new policy changes.”

Worchester condo complex and management company to pay $20,000 to settle housing discrimination allegations

March 26, 2013
A Worcester housing complex and its property management company will pay $20,000 to resolve allegations of disability-based housing discrimination, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
     The assurance of discontinuance (AOD), filed with the Suffolk Superior Court today, resolves allegations that Federal Square Condominium Trust, owner of a 76-unit condominium complex with four commercial units in Worcester, and its property management company Alpine Property Management, failed to respond to a tenant’s requests to make the building wheelchair accessible. Specifically, the tenant requested that the defendants fix the often-broken elevators or install a ramp. Because of the failure to respond and to make the requested modifications, the tenant and her disabled partner were forced to move out of the building.

Cambridge landlord to pay $25,000 to settle claims of housing discrimination and retaliation against a family

January 17, 2013
The owner of an apartment building in Cambridge has agreed to pay $25,000 to settle allegations that a former trustee and property manager discriminated against a family with a young child to avoid an obligation to remove lead paint hazards and later retaliated against the family for filing a discrimination complaint, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
     The consent judgment, entered Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court, requires Ware Hall Trust, the owner of the 60-unit apartment building in Cambridge, to relocate the family and delead the apartment where they currently reside. The Trust recently paid more than $29,000 owed on a judgment obtained by the AG’s Office and the City of Cambridge when they brought suit to enforce an order by the Cambridge Human Rights Commission (CHRC) regarding the initial discrimination allegations.

Newton property owner reaches $15k settlement with tenant for housing discrimination

December 10, 2012
A property owner from Newton has agreed to pay $15,000 and make extensive policy changes at his businesses, settling allegations that a manager at one of his apartment complexes discriminated against a disabled tenant with an assistance dog, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
     According to the assurance of discontinuance, filed Thursday in Suffolk Superior Court, Kevin Regan, the property manager at the Lord Baron Apartments in Burlington, allegedly refused to rent to a prospective tenant because she requested permission to reside with an assistance dog. Regan later agreed to rent to the tenant after being contacted by the AG’s Office and informed that his refusal to rent violated fair housing laws. Subsequent to the AG Coakley’s involvement, Regan allegedly threatened the victim with eviction if he received any complaints about her assistance dog.


Subscribe to RSS - Boston, MA