After moving into the complex, the complainant, a single black female believing she was being harassed because of her race, filed a discrimination complaint with the local Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). At the time of filing the complaint, the OEO informed her that the law expressly prohibits retaliation or discriminating against a person who has opposed an unlawful housing practice, or who has filed a complaint, testified, assisted or participated in any investigation, proceeding, hearing or conference under either the Palm Beach County Fair Housing Ordinance or the Federal Fair Housing Act. The manager, Ed Morales, then refused to renew her lease in retaliation for filing the complaint. The complainant withdrew her complaint with the OEO and HUD and filed a complaint with the FHC. An FHC undercover testing investigation confirmed discrimination on both the basis of race and familial status (presence of children).
This Federal Fair Housing lawsuit is the second filed in Palm Beach County Florida in the recent weeks. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently filed a Federal Fair Housing lawsuit against the owner and manager of an apartment complex in the City of Jupiter. The DOJ suit stemmed from the Department's Fair Housing Testing Program, in coordination with the Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches.
The Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches is the only local grassroots, full service, broad-based, non-profit fair housing organization in Palm Beach County Florida, and is a member of the National Fair Housing Alliance.