1998

1998 issues of The Advocate

Oregon family wins $10,000 in "ground floor only" case

The owners of two Oregon apartment complexes have agreed to pay $10,000 to settle a claim of family status discrimination. US District Judge Ancer Haggerty approved the November settlement.

In August 1996, Brent and Wendy Shill and their ten-month-old daughter began a search for a new apartment. Wendy Shill was pregnant with her second child. The Shills wanted to move into an apartment in a building in better condition than the one in which they were living.

Michigan landlord pays $17,800 for "students only" policy

In November, Stacey Faulk, a single mother and student, agreed to accept a $17,800settlement to resolve claims of family status discrimination against Ismat Hamid, theowner and manager of Holiday Star Apartments in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Faulk and herdaughter, Bridgett, received legal assistance from the Fair Housing Center of WashtenawCounty and Attorney Michael Steinberg.

In August 1996, Faulk and her friend, KristenEllis, were searching for an apartment in Ypsilanti near Eastern Michigan University wherethey attended classes.

Catholic nuns win $250,000 in Chicago race case

In November, two nuns who were unfairly evicted settled a federal fair housing lawsuit for$250,000. Sister Phyllis Sheppard, who is African-American, and Sister Kathleen Burke, whois white, received guidance and legal assistance from the Leadership Council forMetropolitan Open Communities. The Leadership Council was also a plaintiff in the federallawsuit and received a portion of the settlement which covered their costs associated withthe case.

Michigan landlords settle race complaints for $200,000

The Justice Department settled complaints of racial discrimination and family status discrimination against the former owners and managers of three Michigan complexes in November. The defendants have agreed to pay $200,000 to resolve the federal complaint lodged against them.

African-Americans denied units, families with children segregated into certain buildings

The lawsuit asserted that managers denied African-Americans apartments and families with children were treated differently at three Michigan complexes.

FL public housing residents win settlement from HUD

In an agreement settling a class action lawsuit, filed by public housing residents in Miami-Dade County, Florida, will provide increased housing opportunities for low-income African-American families. The Miami-Dade County Commission voted in June to approve the agreement, which resolves longstanding allegations concerning segregation of African-American families in public housing.

All-white Ohio jury awards $11,000 in race case

In February, an all-white Ohio jury awarded $11,000 to an African-American woman after a white landlord badgered her on the telephone. The jury awarded Margaret Grant, the plaintiff, $10,000 in punitive damages and $1,000 compensatory damages after a three-day trial in the Warren County Court of Common Pleas.

Andrew Margolius, a Cleveland attorney who represented Grant in the case, said that this case was unusual because the discrimination occurred only over the phone. Grant never met the landlord.

Disabled VA man wins $65,000 in parking space dispute

A disabled Virginia man won a $65,000 settlement against a condominium complex whereadministrators allegedly refused to allow a reasonable accommodation in the form of areserved parking space close to his unit. Albert Leahy, who uses a wheelchair, obtainedthe June settlement with help from the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington.

Accordingto the settlement agreement, the owners and managers of Alexandria Knolls West admit nowrongdoing but will pay Albert Leahy, $43,000, the Fair Housing Council of GreaterWashington $20,000, and Long and Foster Real Estate Inc. $2,000.

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