Quakertown Mobile Home Park Pays $32,500 to Settle Housing Discrimination Complaint

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jim Berry, Executive Director
August 6, 2004   Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia
610-604-4411     Berry@FHCSP.com

The Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia (FHCSP) and Frank and Laura Mercon settled an administrative complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Housing and Equal Opportunity naming Rennels Property Management in violation of the Fair Housing Act. 

Marlin Court, a mobile home park at 2361 Old Bethlehem Pike, Quakertown, PA, owned by Rennels Property Management and operated by Cyril Rennel’s asserted an openly restrictive policy against prospective mobile homebuyers with children from purchasing homes in Marlin Court Mobile Home Park.

Frank and Laura Mercon had an agreement of sale on their mobile home in Marlin Court in April, 2003.  Rennel’s Property Management informed the Mercon’s that the Park was an adult-only community.  As a result of the new policy, the Mercon’s lost the sale of their mobile home as well as the home they had contracted to buy with the proceeds. 

Housing discrimination based on familial status is illegal and protected by the Fair Housing Act. The act provides, “equal opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, disability, gender, and familial status.” 

FHCSP conducted tests that confirmed the Mercon’s experience that Rennels Property Management had a policy that no children were permitted to live in the Park.  Cyril Rennels denied a tester representing a family with children, but did not deny a family of the same size without children.  “Despite the fact that the Fair Housing Act was amended over sixteen years ago to prohibit housing discrimination against children, families with children are still being treated unfairly and shut out of housing due to ignorance of the law”.  Executive Director, Jim Berry stated. 

Rennels Property Management paid the Mercon’s $22,500, FHCSP $10,000 and agreed to change its policy to be in compliance with the law.  Rennels also agreed to attend Fair Housing education programs as part of the agreement.

FHCSP, founded in 1956, is the nation’s oldest fair housing organization and serves Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.  FHCSP engages in educational, counseling, testing and referral services throughout the Delaware Valley to counteract and eliminate discriminatory housing practices.