1997

1997 issues of The Advocate

Maryland landlord pays $900,000 for steering African-Americans to the back of his complex

African-American families who were steered to the back of a Maryland apartment complex sawa $900,000 settlement obtained by Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc. (BNI) and its cooperatingattorneys. The August settlement came days before the federal lawsuit filed by BNI was setto go to trial.

In 1994 and 1995, BNI sent pairs of African-American andwhite testers to Kenilworth at Perring Park Apartments. White testers were directed to andoffered apartments in the front of the complex while African-American testers were shownapartments in the back of the complex.

Lenders in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and California settle racial discrimination complaints

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), recently resolved three cases of lending discrimination in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and California which garnered settlements totaling $17,000. All three settled complaints involved racial discrimination.

Reed and Cora Brown, an African-American couple from Pennsylvania, settled their fair lending complaint for $10,000. The Browns sued First Union Corporation, a mortgage lender.

Bellevue, Washington amends zoning laws and pays $246,000 in legal fees and costs in group home case

The city of Bellvue, Washington recently amended its zoning codes to settle a federallawsuit filed by the Children's Alliance, a non-profit children's advocacy group. Thegroup, along with two other non-profits and a private plaintiff, claimed that Bellvue'szoning laws regulating group homes for children and persons with disabilities werefacially discriminatory.

In addition to the change in the zoning laws, thecity agreed to pay $240,000 in attorneys' fees and $6,000 in costs to the plaintiffs. Thesettlement was approved by US District Court Judge Thomas Zilly in June.

FHC-Detroit wins settlements in three recent cases involving marital status, race, and family status

The Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit (FHC-Detroit) has assisted discriminationvictims in several cases during mid-1997, settling three cases for a total of $38,000. Thethree recently closed cases involved marital status discrimination (illegal in Michigan),racial discrimination, and family status discrimination.

In a caseinvolving illegal discrimination based on marital status, Raymond Farrior and Sherry Mooresettled their claim against the Detroit Housing Commission for $15,000.

New Yorkers win $7,500 in family case

A New York family settled a federal lawsuit against the owners of a Wheatfield, New Yorkapartment complex for $7,500. The plaintiffs, identified only as Kevin and Corrine,asserted that they had been the victims of family status discrimination. The settlementwas obtained with help from Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) and the Western NewYork Law Center.

In December 1996, Kevin and Corrine were looking for a new home forthemselves and their infant son. Corrine saw a "for rent" sign at the Wheatfieldcomplex owned by Susan and Franklin White.

California landlords pay $7,500 for refusing to rent to family with children because of "safety concerns"

A California family settled claims of family status discrimination against a husband andwife team of Hayward, California landlords who refused to rent to them. The August 1997settlement of $7,500 ended a federal lawsuit filed by Heidi Garcia, her family, and theEden Council for Hope and Opportunity (ECHO) Housing.

In April 1996, HeidiGarcia saw an ad for a two-bedroom duplex in the Daily Review. She felt that itwould be an ideal place for herself and her husband, along with their two young sons.

New York City landlords pay $100,000 for refusing to rent or show apartments to African-Americans

A father and daughter who refused to rent to African-Americans agreed, in September, topay $100,000 to settle a fair housing lawsuit filed by Jerryl Bell, an African-Americanman, and the Open Housing Center, a private fair housing organization in New York City.Bell will receive $65,000 and the Open Housing Center will receive $35,000. The August1996 lawsuit accused the defendants of breaking federal, state, and city fair housinglaws.

Jerryl Bell responded to an ad in New York's Daily News foran apartment in Astoria. Henry Bosio, a real estate broker, took Bell's call.

Judge orders city to pay $192,000 to Missouri group home operators in zoning dispute

In September, United States District Judge George F. Gunn, Jr. ordered the city of CreveCoeur, Missouri to pay $ 192,788 to the developers of a group home for persons withAlzheimer's Disease. The Court also ordered the city to issue building permits to thedevelopers so the group home could be completed.

In June 1995, CURA, Inc. opened MasonManor, a group home for persons with Alzheimer's Disease, in an unincorporated part of St.Louis County, Missouri. Soon after the facility opened, the part of the county where thehome was built was annexed by the city of Creve Coeur.

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