EHOC settles familial status complaint for $11,000

Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council
1027 South Vandeventer Fourth Floor
St. Louis, MO 63110


Contact: Catherine Ndegwa, Executive Director, EHOC (314) 534-5800 St. Louis

July 12, 2001 --- The Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council (EHOC) has settled, by conciliation, a housing discrimination case for $11,000 with Jean Bernhardt, property owner and her property manager, Hollis Jackson of Belleville, Illinois. 

In 2000 , EHOC received a complaint of discrimination based upon familial status (presence of children), against Jean Bernhardt and her property manager, Hollis Jackson. That case was forwarded to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and settled between HUD and the complainant.

In May 2001, EHOC became a complainant in a case against the same parties on the same basis. The respondents agreed to negotiate out of court. On June 29, 2001, the parties reached a $11,000 out of court settlement. The funds will go toward EHOC's mission. 

EHOC works to ensure equal access to housing for all people through education, counseling, investigation and enforcement. Catherine Ndegwa, Executive Director of EHOC stated, "We are pleased that we were able to reach this conciliated settlement and look forward to continuing the work of EHOC. This kind of action by housing providers clearly shows there is need for fair housing representation in the metropolitan region."

Started in 1995 to fight housing discrimination, EHOC serves the Missouri counties of Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, St. Louis, as well as the City of St. Louis; and the Illinois counties of Madison, Monroe and St. Clair. In its six year history, EHOC has received more than 500 cases of housing discrimination. In 2000 alone, the agency investigated 74 housing discrimination cases up 39% from the year before.

The federal law that governs housing discrimination is the Fair Housing Act (FHA), which was passed by Congress in 1968. The Fair Housing Act forbids discrimination in the sale, rental or financing of housing on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, familial status, or disability.

If you or someone you know is being discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, familial status or disability, call EHOC at (314) 534-5800.