Realty company pays $6,500 to CT woman and fair housing center in source of income complaint

The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) recently approved a $6,500 settlement to resolve a complaint based on source of income discrimination. The settlement includes a $5,000 cash settlement to the plaintiff and a $1,500 donation to the Connecticut Fair Housing Center.

Norma Davis, a Stratford resident, asserted that she was denied the opportunity to rent a home, because she receives a Section 8 rental subsidy. An agent for Donadeo Realty in Bridgeport allegedly refused to allow her to rent the home once Davis revealed she received rental assistance. Connecticut’s state fair housing law prohibits denying housing to persons who receive rental assistance or other lawful forms of income.

CHRO investigator found probable cause

CHRO Investigator Patricia Christie researched the complaint and found that there was probable cause to believe that Donadeo Realty had discriminated against Davis. The case was scheduled for a hearing before the Commission but settled before the hearing date. The respondents denied wrongdoing in the case.

Donadeo Realty has agreed to have its agents participate in fair housing training. Additionally, the $1,500 donation to the Fair Housing Center will be used to test the agency’s practices in the future. CHRO will monitor Donadeo’s records for the next three years and will oversee Donadeo’s development of an affirmative marketing plan targeted to Section 8 recipients and families with children.

Connecticut law has prohibited source of income discrimination since 1989. A 1999 Connecticut Supreme Court decision in the case of CHRO v. Sullivan confirmed that Section 8 was included in the definition of "lawful source of income" included in Connecticut’s fair housing law. In addition to the protected classes covered by the federal Fair Housing Act, Connecticut’s law prohibits discrimination on the basis of ancestry, marital status, age, source of income, and sexual orientation. For more about this case, call the CHRO at (800) 477-5737.