Center scores major victory in fight to end housing discrimination against kids

Palm Beach County, FL., November 4, 2002-The Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches, Inc. (FHC) has won a pivotal victory in its campaign to smash housing discrimination against kids in Palm Beach County Florida. A federal lawsuit filed just last November has ended with a settlement agreement of $30,000 in favor of the plaintiffs. The lawsuit charged that Roger Quisenberry, owner and manager of residential properties throughout the county, discriminates against families with children, in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Quisenberry denied the allegations.

Late last year the FHC received a complaint from a mother with a minor child alleging that the defendant told her that she could not rent one of his apartment units, which are located in the City of West Palm Beach, because she has a child. The FHC conducted an undercover testing investigation of Quisenberry ’s business operations, which confirmed the allegation of the complaint, that the property owner would not rent the unit to families with children. An administrative complaint was then filed with the local Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). After their own independent investigation, the OEO issued a determination finding of reasonable cause, subsequently adopted by HUD, that their had been a violation of fair housing laws.

Efforts to conciliate were unsuccessful and the plaintiffs filed a federal lawsuit."This case sends a message to small residential property owners that housing discrimination against kids in Palm Beach County will not be tolerated, said FHC President Vince Larkins. The plaintiffs were represented by FHC Litigation Coordinator Michael F. Amezaga Esq., who specializes in civil rights litigation.

In addition to paying $30,000 under the settlement, the property owner further agreed to be:

  • Permanently enjoined from engaging in future violations of the Fair Housing Act.

  • Trained on Fair Housing Guidelines and Procedures.

The Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches, which is the only full service, broad-based, non-profit fair housing organization in Palm Beach County Florida, has launched a major offensive on housing discrimination against kids. This settlement agreement follows closely on the heels of two federal housing discrimination lawsuits recently filed in Palm Beach County Florida by the FHC, as well as a suit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ suit stemmed from the Department's Fair Housing Testing Program, in coordination with the Fair Housing Center.

If any person has been denied housing because of the presence of children in Palm Beach County Florida, call the FHC’s toll-free hotline at: 1-877-825-FAIR.