2003

2003 issues of The Advocate

Marin, CA family fights discrimination; wins $70,000 settlement from property owner

In November 2002, the owner of a Marin, CA agreed to pay $70,000 to a family and Fair Housing of Marin (FHM), a private  nonprofit fair housing agency. The Consent Decree resolved claims that the landlord placed overly restrictive rules on children at his apartment complex. The names of the parties involved remain confidential, according to the Decree.

The family and FHM filed the federal lawsuit to challenge the rules at the complex that kept the playground closed, except during school hours, and prohibited children over the age of 10 from using the playground equipment.

CA families receive $130,000 and permanent injunction in federal “no kids outside” suit

A condominium association and its management company that allegedly prohibited children from playing outside at their Pico Rivera, California homes, will pay $130,000 to resolve a federal lawsuit. The court also issued a permanent injunction against rules that unduly restrict children’s activities.

The Housing Rights Center, along with Adele Samorano and seventeen other Plaintiffs, sued the condominium association and property management company, Baldwin Management, in federal court in August 2001.

CA complex pays $51K after falsely claiming seniors-only exemption to family status coverage

In a case where the management staff of an apartment complex in Gardenia, California allegedly told an expectant mother over the phone that it would not accept families with children because it was a “seniors only” complex, a federal judge has issued a Consent Decree and Final Order directing the owner to pay $51,000 and enter into a two-year fair housing program.

Daytona Beach group home continues operation and wins $100,000 settlement after attempted shutdown

The City Commission of Daytona Beach, Florida agreed in March to give up a yearlong fight against a home for recovering drug and alcohol addicts. The City will pay $100,000 to settle a federal discrimination lawsuit.

The settlement approved by commissioners includes $60,000 for attorney fees and costs. Michael Gardner, owner of the home, will split $6,000 with 10 clients. Hearthstone Foundation, a nonprofit company that operates the home, will get $34,000.

Illinois women and South Suburban Housing Center share in $45,000 racial discrimination settlement

Shirley Stevens, an African American woman from Cook County; the South Suburban Housing Center (SSHC); and two of the Center’s African American testers agreed to the terms of a February 2003 Consent Order to settle a federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination by John Gronski, Sr. and Mary Gronski, the owners of several rental properties in suburban Chicago. The Defendants agreed to pay $45,000 in cash for Plaintiffs’ damages and attorneys’ fees.

Architects pay $435,000 to fix accessibility problems at two North Carolina multifamily developments

The Department of Justice settled a lawsuit with the architectural firm of Hite/MSM, P.C. regarding violations of the federal Fair Housing Act. Under the consent decree, Hite will pay $415,000 toward making retrofits to add accessibility features to the complexes and $20,000 to four individuals who were harmed by the lack of accessibility features.

Tennessee single mom wins $18,000 in damages and fees from operators of Gallatin apartment complex

A single mother will receive a total of $18,000 in damages and attorney fees to settle a federal housing discrimination lawsuit against the owners and manager of Halewood Manor, an apartment complex in Gallatin, Tennessee. Under the terms of the settlement, the owners and manager of the complex also will receive training on the Fair Housing Act and will refrain from violating state and federal fair housing laws.

The lawsuit alleges that Angela Woodard was denied an apartment at the complex on several occasions because she has a small child.

Richmond, CA housing authority pays $54,500 for denying disabled woman access to public housing

United States District Judge Phyllis Hamilton approved the January 2003 settlement of a housing discrimination case brought by Frances Foster, a person with disabilities, who alleged that she was discriminated against by the City of Richmond Housing Authority. Foster will receive $54,500 in damages and attorneys’ fees.

Housing authority wouldn’t allow disabled persons to apply for public housing units

Foster filed her lawsuit, because she was not allowed to apply for a spot on the Richmond Housing Authority’s public housing waiting list.

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