1996

1996 issues of The Advocate

California Woman Wins $60,000 and Right to Ramp

An out of court settlement of $60,000 for a woman in a wheelchair was reached after she filed a private lawsuit against the Homeowners Association of the Larkspur Isle Condominiums in Larkspur, California. The plaintiff decided to sue the Homeowners Association after they denied her the right to make reasonable modifications to her rental unit to accommodate her physical disability.

The woman had rented the apartment from the owner, Ecumenical Association for Housing.

Florida mobile home park pays $81,250 settlement after denying Hispanic couple's application

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), representing a Hispanic couple, settled a national origin discrimination case against a south Florida mobile home park for $81,250 in June. The LCCR filed the case for the couple and used informat ion gathered by testers from the Housing Opportunity Project for Excellence (HOPE), a Miami-based fair housing organization.

Esther and Reynolds Pina said that they were discouraged from applying to rent lot space at Galway Bay mobile home park in Marathon, Florida.

Fleet will pay $4 million in settlement for charging 'overages' to Blacks and Hispanics

Fleet Financial Group's mortgage subsidiary will pay $4 million to settle Justice Department claims that it charged Blacks and Hispanics higher interest rates and loan fees than comparably qualified White homeseekers.

In May, Fleet agreed to establish a $3.8 million settlement fund to compensate the 600 Black and Hispanic customers who obtained mortgage loans from branches in Westbury, N.Y., and Woodbridge, N.J., between August 1, 1993 and June 1, 1994.

Lorain County Urban League nets $40,000 in Ohio's first "victimless" racial discrimination case

In March, a federal judge approved a $40,000 award to the Lorain County Urban League, Inc. which sent testers to a 24-unit apartment building in Elyria, Ohio in an attempt to prove racial discrimination. Senior U.S. District Judge John M. Manos approved the amount to settle the suit against Butternut Terrace apartments.

HUD and Maryland ACLU agree to plan that will desegregate Baltimore's public housing

On April 8, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Henry Cisneros announced a plan that would help end decades of segregation in the Baltimore area by allowing more than 1,300 families to move out of segregated neighborhoods and into Baltimore suburbs.

The settlement ends a portion of the lawsuit filed by the Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in January 1995 involving HUD's plan to tear down high-rise buildings across America and replace them with both public and market-rate housing.

Boston Housing Authority told to pay $100,000 for ignoring Black tenant's complaints of harassment

The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) was ordered in November to pay $100,000 in damages to John Love, an African-American tenant whose complaints of racial intimidation and harassment by his white neighbors were ignored. The housing authority was also ordered to find Love a new apartment. The authority pledged to come up with a new plan to protect its tenants from harassment.

Love, a college student and security guard, filed several complaints of racial discrimination last year against his neighbors and asked to be transferred to another apartment run by the Boston Housing Authority.

Congress hears National Neighbors' call for fairness in fair housing funding

Special to the Advocate from National Neighbors

National Neighbors Inc., the oldest national Fair Housing organization in the US, has successfully led a campaign to change language limiting funding opportunities in the 1997 Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Appropriations Bill. The proposed eligibility language contained within the Bill limited Education/Outreach funding to housing organizations that had two, or more, years of enforcement and testing activities regardless of their outreach effectiveness or experience.

Disabled man wins rent-free apartment for life after being steered by Maryland apartment complex

The owners and managers of Wheaton Place Apartments in Silver Spring, Maryland, have agreed to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by Jack Wright, the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington and the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs. Wright is deaf, blind and has Usher's Syndrome.

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