DOJ obtains $30,000 settlement in St. Louis, Missouri

A racial housing discrimination case in South St. Louis County filed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has recently been settled. This settlement will further fair housing throughout the region in several ways. Forder Road Apartments has agreed to institute a number of practices in their management systems that will ensure fair treatment for all apartment seekers, including fair housing education for their employ- Order includes a provision that the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council (EHOC) will receive most of the $30,000 monetary settlement to be used to continue their programs in the greater St. Louis area. These programs are designed to combat illegal discrimination in the sale and rental of housing and to educate the public concerning fair housing.

The DOJ filed a complaint against Forder Road Apartments in April, 1994, alleging racially discriminatory housing practices based on fair housing testing conducted in 1993. The testers used in the DOJ investigation were recruited by EHOC. Without admitting the allegations made in this case, Marjorie A. and Vince F. Stanec and Andy Thielemier, owners and employees of Forder Road Apartments, have entered into this settlment agreement with the DOJ.

"We are of course thrilled to receive the confidence of the DOJ," explained EHOC Executive Director Bronwen Zwirner, "but most of all we hope that this case is a wake-up call to the housing industry in our region."

EHOC was established in 1992 following the involvement of some Board members in a racial polarization task force of Confluence St. Louis. In April of 1995, EHOC opened an office where individuals can file fair housing discrimination complaints and the housing industry and general public can get fair housing education and information. "We're here to work with homeseekers and those who have homes to rent or sell." explained Zwirner. "EHOC is dedicated to equal housing opportunity and the creation of racially and economically integrated communities throughout the metro area.