Pennsylvania trailer park operators agree to settle family status discrimination case

In November, the owners of a mobile home park near Erie, Pennsylvania agreed to pay $9,250 to settle discrimination charges that alleged a family with minor children was kept out of the park.  The family denied space at the mobile home park moved into a small apartment and said that they will use the settlement as a down payment on a house.

According to complaints filed with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Henry and Elizabeth Lorence refused to allow Scott and Karen Muffie and their two young daughters to move into the park.

The Muffies had attempted to buy a mobile home from Michael and Karen Bond who rented space in the Lorences' park.  Despite the Muffies' creditworthiness, the Lorences refused to allow them to buy the tralier from the Bonds.  The Bonds testified that the Lorences had turned away at least five families with children.

According to testimony, Henry Lorence told the Bonds that he did not want any tenants who had children or any tenants who were of "breeding age."  Lorence told the Muffies that they could not move in because their children might disturb the elderly residents at the park.  Lorence also said that there were no facilities at the park for children.

HUD investigated the complaint, but the Lorences settled the case before any charges of discrimination were filed.  Under the settlement, the Muffies received $8,500 and the Bonds received $750 for their loss of sale.  The Bonds ended up selling their mobile to a subsequent buyer.

In addition to the monetary settlement, the Lorences agreed to attend fair housing training.