1997

1997 issues of The Advocate

Louisiana man agrees to pay $30,000 tobi-racial family

A Louisiana landlord, who allegedly refused to provide rental housing to an interracial couple, has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the couple. In addition to the monetary damages, Charles Long, the landlord has agreed to attend a fair housing education program, advertise in African-American media, and keep comprehensive records of vacancies and applicants at his rental properties.

US Commission on Civil Rights publishes freecivil rights booklet

On March 14, 1997, a federal jury found Eliza Keulian, a Pennsylvania landlord, liable forhousing discrimination and awarded $28,000 to seven plaintiffs and the Fair HousingCouncil of Suburban Philadelphia. The jury found that Keulian had illegally discriminatedagainst prospective tenants on the basis of race, color, and family status. Clifford Boardman, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, also won aninjunction against Keulian that removed her from the day to day operations of her rentalproperties for five years.

Jury awards $28,000 in Peknnsylvaniarace/family case

The United States Commission on Civil Rights has recently published a new 115-page bookletentitled Getting Uncle Sam to Enforce Your Civil Rights (Clearinghouse Publication59) which outlines the rights and avenues of restitution for persons who werediscriminated against in several areas: Credit, Education, Employment, Housing, LawEnforcement, Federally Assisted Programs, Public Accommodations and Facilities, andVoting. It also outlines special rights granted to non-citizens, Native Americans,institutionalized persons, and military personnel.

Missouri bank pays $50,000 to end unfair lending dispute

The largest home mortgage lender in Kansas City, Missouri has agreed to settle a lending discrimination case filed by Legal Aid of Western Missouri on behalf of testers. Under the April settlement agreement, Capitol Federal Savings agreed to pay $50,000 in damages and make many changes in both its lending and personnel policies. The settlement also calls for the lender to submit quarterly monitoring reports to Legal Aid for the next two years.

Alabama woman signs over land in race settlement

A property owner in Montgomery, Alabama recently agreed to sign over a vacant lot, free of charge, to an African-American couple which she had allegedly refused to sell the property. Angeline Howell gave the land to Larry and Verlinda Boswell as part of an unusual settlement agreement which resolved a federal complaint. The land's estimated value is $25,000. The Boswells received the deed on April 23, 1997.

In late 1995, Verlinda Boswell, a beauty salon owner, responded to a sign which advertised residential lots for sale on Jenkins Road in Montgomery.

BNI wins $75,000 settlement in accessibilitycase

The designers and builders of Falls Gable Condominiums, a development near Baltimore,Maryland, have agreed to pay $75,000 to settle claims that they did not comply with theaccessibility guidelines of the Fair Housing Act. Part of the settlement will be used toallow the owners of ground-floor units to retrofit their condominiums to meetaccessibility guidelines. Some of the settlement money will also go toward making thecommon areas of the complex accessible.


BNI found flaws in both the interior and exterior design of new complex

City of Fresno settles disability case for$535,000

The city of Fresno, California will pay $535,000 and will no longer oppose the renovationof an apartment building which will provide housing for persons with mental disabilitiesunder an agreement reached with the Department of Justice in April. The settlementresolves a fair housing complaint filed by the Justice Department which alleged cityofficials' actions had denied housing opportunities to persons based on disability. City Council member opposed allowing mentally disabled tenants to live inbuilding

South Suburban Housing Center wins $450,000 in cash and rent credits in Illinois race case

Late in April, the South Suburban Housing Center (SSHC) and three African-Americancomplainants negotiated a settlement worth $450,000 in monetary damages, civil penalties,and rent credits following a day-long session in front of a federal mediator. Thesettlement resolved claims of racial discrimination against the owners and managers ofForest Hills Apartments in Oak Forest, Illinois and Commercial Avenue Apartments in SouthChicago Heights, Illinois. It is the largest award ever obtained in a suit filed by SSHC.

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