1997

1997 issues of The Advocate

Utah landlords pay for evicting non-Mormon tenants

Utah landlords who allegedly evicted tenants from their building because they were not practicing Mormons have agreed to pay nearly $30,000 to settle religious discrimination complaints filed with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In addition to the money, the March settlement requires Eldon and Marilyn May, the landlords, to attend fair housing training, change tenant requirements, and write a letter of apology to the tenants who claim they were wrongfully evicted.

Oregon woman wins $70,000 sex harassment settlement

An Oregon woman won a $70,000 settlement in March that resolved her federal lawsuitaccusing the owners and managers of a Hillsboro, Oregon apartment complex of sexualharassment. The settlement, reached through private mediation, includes $30,000 inattorney's fees.

The lawsuit, filed in May 1996, accused the owners and managers of thecomplex of violating the federal Fair Housing Act and state fair housing laws. A separate,criminal charge of assault and battery was also filed.

City of Waukegan settles race/national origin case

The city of Waukegan, Illinois, whose officials were accused of violating the Fair HousingAct by enacting a housing code to limit the number of Hispanic family members livingtogether, has agreed to pay $200,000 in damages and fines under an agreement reached withthe Justice Department.

Under the agreement, approved on May 20 in U.S.District Court in Chicago, the city of Waukegan will stop restricting the number ofpersons living in a house based on the relation of the occupants.

Native Americans denied loans win $275,000 from Nebraska bank

A northwestern Nebraska bank, which allegedly unfairly charged Native American borrowershigher interest rates for consumer loans, will pay $275,000 under an agreement reached onMay 7 with the Justice Department.

Thesettlement, which has been approved in federal district court, calls for the bank to paydamages and waive loan costs to the victims of the alleged discrimination. Most of thevictims identified are Native Americans who live on the Pine Ridge Reservation in SouthDakota. The settlement was filed in U.S.

Racial discrimination and family status discrimination in Riverside, California

Current and former tenants of Smoke Tree Apartments in Riverside, California won a $100,000 settlement in February from apartment owners John and Mary Harding. The consent decree signed by the Hardings and the plaintiffs ended the litigation of a fair housing lawsuit filed by the tenants and a former manager. The suit alleged that the Hardings had been involved in illegal discrimination at the complex based on race and family status.

Justice Department investigates 26 cross-burnings nationwide in 1996, defendants face jail, fines 

Since January 1996, the U.S. Department of Justice has investigated 26 cases of cross-burning. Despite decreased activities by racist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan, cross-burnings continue to take place throughout the United States. Four recent cases handled by the Justice Department illustrate this alarming trend.

Fair Housing Council of Central New York and tester win $10,000 race/family settlement 

In October, HUD Administrative Law Judge Alan Heifitz approved a $10,000 settlement for the Fair Housing Council (FHC) of Central New York and Oneita Footman, an FHC tester. The owners and managers of Orchard Estates, an apartment complex in Mattydale , New York, agreed to pay the settlement to resolve charges that they had discriminated against prospective tenants on the basis of race and family status.

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