1997

1997 issues of The Advocate

HUD investigation uncovers widespread discrimination in Biloxi's public housing

The public housing authority in Biloxi, Mississippi admitted in August that it was guilty of widespread discrimination on the bases of race and disability. The Biloxi Housing Authority agreed, under pressure from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to establish a $10,000 fund to compensate victims of discrimination, relocate African-American and Vietnamese residents who were illegally steered to particular public housing complexes, and to make more units accessible for persons with disabilities.

Eleventh Circuit panel upholds $70,000 award in Florida couple's racial discrimination complaint

A $70,000 judgment for racial discrimination awarded by a United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Administrative Law Judge has been upheld by an 11th Circuit panel. The panel's February ruling clears the way for a Florida couple to receive the monetary award from a husband and wife property owner who discriminated against them.

Advocate web site's new features reach thousands nationwide; expansion continues

As the National Fair Housing Advocate web site (www.fairhousing.com) has added new features, the number of people who have visited the site has grown rapidly. Since the site has added its discussion foru m and searchable case databases, the site has received more than 42,000 been logged since it's launch in mid-1996. Questions and responses have been posted by civil rights advocates, real estate professionals, attorneys, and tenants. Overall, the discussion forum has been a huge success.

Miami's H.O.P.E. Inc. assists Justice Department in obtaining $1.3 million in race and family settlement

The owners of ten apartment complexes in southern Florida have agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle four complaints of housing discrimination investigated by the Justice Department. According to the Justice Department investigation, the complexes, one located in Kendall and nine in Boca Raton, had a history of refusing to rent apartments to African-Americans or families with children.

Kendall House Apartments, the complex in Kendall accused of race and family status discrimination, bore the brunt of the monetary settlements, agreeing to pay $1 million.

HUD Administrative Law Judge O'Bryant finds disability discrimination in Idaho and California

In late November 1996, US Department of Housing and Urban Development Administrative Law Judge Constance O'Bryant ordered an apartment complex in Fort Bragg, California to pay $5,569 to a disabled man. Complex managers tried to evict the man because he refused to give away his therapeutic cat. Judge O'Bryant also ordered the complex owners to pay a $5,000 civil penalty to HUD.

Durand Evan is a 49-year-old man who suffers from a musculoskeletal condition called fibromyalgia.

Denny's gives $200,000 to fair housing groups

Flagstar Companies, Inc., the parent company of Denny's restaurants, pledged to give $100,000 to the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington as part of a $1.5 million donation to eight civil rights groups and the United Negro College Fund. The company also unveiled its new "zero-tolerance" policy for discrimination.

The donations are part of a 1994 agreement which settled two class-action discrimination suits against the company.

Florida's Fair Housing Continuum wins $18,000 in settlements from two local shopping papers

Late last year, the Fair Housing Continuum (FHC) of Cocoa, Florida settled two advertising cases against two shopping papers doing business in Brevard County. In October 1996, the Thrifty Nickel agreed to pay more than $7,000 to the Fair Housing Continuum for running discriminatory ads in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Less than a month later, the Little Paper agreed to pay more than $11,000 for similar violations.

From April to September 1995, the Fair Housing Continuum monitored local newspapers and magazines.

FHC-Detroit wins $569,000 arbitration award in advertising race case against Michigan complex

The Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit (FHC-Detroit) has won a $569,000 arbitration award in a case against Henry Ford Village, a planned retirement community in Dearborn, Michigan. Under the February award, the owners and managers of Henry Ford Village must set aside at least $469,000 for affirmative relief actions and pay $100,000 to FHC-Detroit.

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