Settlement Agreement Reached in Federal Housing Discrimination Lawsuit in Palm Beach County

Greater Palm Beaches, Inc.
Contact:  Vince Larkins, President/CEO
1300 W. Lantana Rd. Ste. 100
Lantana, FL. 33462
Phone:(561) 533-8717
Facsimile:(561) 533-8163

March 19, 2001- Fair Housing Cooperating Attorneys for the Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches, Inc. (FHC), Michael Mahar and Antony Ryan, have reached a pre-trial settlement agreement with housing providers in Palm Beach County Florida. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Ms. Cheyenne Seymour and her minor child, after Ms. Seymour filed a complaint alleging that they were refused an apartment, in writing, stating "No Children." FHC undercover testing confirmed both familial status as well as race discrimination. After the Palm Beach County Office of Equal Opportunity issued a determination finding that their had been a violation of fair housing laws, efforts to conciliate were unsuccessful and Ms. Seymour requested that the FHC assist her in filing a lawsuit in Federal court. Ms. Seymour refused a conciliation offer of $500. In stating why she decided to file the lawsuit she said "It’s not about the money. I just want to let them know that you just can’t do this and get away with it". Though admitting no guilt, the settlement awarded $23,500 to Ms. Seymour, who filed the complaint against Sami J. Baghdady, the property manager and the Cedar Crest Homeowners Association.

The Federal, State of Florida and Palm Beach County Fair Housing Ordinances make it illegal to refuse to rent to families with children, and on the basis of race. " This case puts anyone who believes that nothing will happen if you violate our fair housing laws on notice" said Vince Larkins, President & CEO of the Fair Housing Center. The Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches is a HUD Fair Housing Initiative Program organization.

For Further Information Contact: Vince Larkins

(561) 533-8717