1998

1998 issues of The Advocate

MA's Housing Discrimination Project settles two cases

The Housing Discrimination Project (HDP) in Holyoke, Massachusetts, recently settled two housing discrimination cases. The first case involved racial, national origin, and family status discrimination in Hampden County, Massachusetts. The second case involved racial and family status discrimination in Worcester County, Massachusetts.

In the first case, HDP and two former employees of the complex in question settled their federal lawsuit for $45,000. Each of the former employees received $16,250 and the HDP received $12,500.

Alabama's largest real estate company pays $100,000 for steering African-Americans

The largest real estate company in Alabama will no longer steer prospective African-American homeowners to homes in minority neighborhoods, under an agreement reached in May with the Justice Department, two private citizens, and a civil rights organization. Under the settlement agreement, the company will also pay $100,000 into a damages fund for discrimination victims who have or have not been identified.

The agreement, filed together with a complaint in U.S.

Bill Lann Lee named to nation's top civil rights post

Bill Lann Lee, a civil rights attorney who most recently worked with the NAACP, was appointed Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights by President Clinton in December. Clinton made the appointment during a congressional recess because the Senate did not confirm Lee before its members went home for the December holidays.

Because he was appointed this way, Lee can begin work at the Department of Justice almost immediately, without Senate confirmation.

Disabled Oregon woman wins $11,000 settlement in service animal complaint

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Administrative Law Judge Robert Andretta approved a settlement in a fair housing disability complaint in July 1997. The settlement involved discrimination against a mentally disabled women who was told that she must give up her service animal or face eviction.

Complex tried to make woman give up her service dog by threatening eviction

Diane Rowe, a woman who suffers from severe depression and agoraphobia, won $11,000 from Vista Hills Arms Apartments in Portland, Oregon.

Metro Fair Housing Services win $4,000 and retrofitting from Georgia apartment builder


Charlie Roberts, the builder and owner of Bentley Place Apartments in Tucker, Georgia, said that he would pay $4,000 to Atlanta's Metro Fair Housing Services (MFHS) and retrofit the newly constructed apartments in order to settle an accessibility complaint filed with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Disabled California woman wins posthumous settlement in her claim against complex

The family of a California woman settled a federal claim of disability discrimination for $67,500 in August 1997. The consent decree in the case was approved by US District Judge Spencer Williams and also calls for Heritage Park Apartments, a 500-unit complex in Sunnyvale, to develop and adopt a reasonable accommodation policy and to institute a fair housing training program for its employees.

City of Fresno, California agrees to $535,000 in Justice Department disability discrimination case

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.

CityCouncil member opposed allowing mentally disabled tenants to live in building

Housing Discrimination Project settles disability complaint against Mass. complex for ramp and fees

The Housing Discrimination Project (HDP) in Holyoke, Massachusetts recently settled acomplaint of housing discrimination against a Massachusetts apartment complex. The casewas filed in federal court and settled within six months.

In September 1996, in adisability discrimination case handled by the HDP, Bertha Regish, an 89-year-old residentof Northampton, Mass., won a wheelchair ramp, modifications to her apartment and $3,500 inattorney's fees from Meadowbrook Apartments, the apartment complex where she has lived formore than 20 years.

Stroke impaired woman's mobility

Denver developers will pay several hundred thousand dollars to make complex more accessible

The designers, builders, and owners of an upscale Denver apartment complex known as TheBreakers have agreed to spend several hundred thousand dollars to modify ground floorunits so that persons with physical disabilities can live there. The October agreementcame into response to complaints filed with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

Accordingto Judy Fester of the Division, this was the first accessibility case pursued by the stateof Colorado against a developer.

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