Settlement agreement reached in Palm Beach County federal housing discrimination lawsuit

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

(Palm Beach County, FL, July 14, 2000) -- The Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches, Inc.(FHC), and it’s allies have won a crucial victory in the fight to end housing discrimination in Palm Beach County. A recent court settlement has awarded $22,500 to Luis and Deanna Arce, who filed a complaint against property owners Wilbur and Naomi Taylor. The complaint charged that the property owners discriminated against families with children. The Taylor’s own all the duplexes on one block, Taylor Lane, in West Palm Beach, FL.
     The Fair Housing Center conducted an undercover testing investigation of the Taylor’s business operations, which confirmed the allegation of the complaint, that the property owners allowed only one child in each 2 bedroom unit and had a sign posted stating "One Child". Both are violations of Federal, state and local fair housing laws and advertising guidelines. "This case shows that if you are going to deny a human being their basic right to a roof over their heads, you’re going to have to pay the cost, and it won’t be cheap", said Vince Larkins, President/CEO of the Fair Housing Center.
     In addition to paying the $22,500 under the settlement agreement, the property owners further agreed to:

  • Comply fully with the provisions of the Federal Fair Housing Act and the Florida Human Rights Act.
  • Pay all cost of the mediation.

     The Federal Fair Housing Act, Florida Human Rights Act and Palm Beach County Fair Housing Ordinances make it illegal to refuse to rent to families with children or discriminate based on race/color, national origin, religion, sex and disability. Palm Beach County Ordinance includes marital status, age and sexual orientation. Under the law, familial protection is offered to families with minor children, pregnant women and to anyone securing custody of a child. Housing for older persons is exempt from the prohibition against familial status and age discrimination if it houses at least one person who is 55 years of age or older in at least 80% of the occupied units or it is occupied solely by persons 62 years of age or older.
     The Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches mission is to provide private enforcement, education and legal support services by advocating for equal opportunities in housing, fostering culturally rich communities, understanding and respect between community members. The Fair Housing Center works in partnership with the local governmental fair housing agency, the Palm Beach County Office of Equal Opportunity, to educate housing providers, electronic/print media, the general public and those who are protected, on their rights and responsibilities under Federal, state and local fair housing laws and guidelines.
     If you are experiencing fair housing problems call the Fair Housing Center’s Toll-Free Hotline at: 1-877-825-FAIR.