Real estate firm agrees to pay $16K, moving expenses in familial status case

44 Cooper Street, Woodbury, NJ 08096

The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
125 S. 9th St., Suite 700, Phila., PA 19107

Contact Information:
Fair Housing Council of Southern New Jersey 1-888-845-2944

Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
215-627-7100 extension 239
For more information contact: Edward B. Dougherty, Executive Director, FHCSNJ or
Julie Hoke, Fair Housing Attorney, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Woodbury, N.J., December 30, 1998) -- The Fair Housing Council of Southern New Jersey and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia announced today that they have reached an agreement with a prominent Real Estate firm that will end a dispute in which the plaintiff alleges that she was discriminated against in the rental of a house because of her familial status. The agreement provides for the Real Estate firm to find the plaintiff a comparable place to live, pay for the move, pay the realty fees for the plaintiff's Real Estate agent would have received if the transaction was completed and pay the plaintiff $16,000. The Real Estate firm has also agreed to conduct fair housing training for all of its employees.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits property owners and others involved in the sale or rental of property from discriminating against families with children as well as on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, religion and disability (both mental and physical).

"We will continue to vigorously assist persons complaining of discrimination in housing", stated Julie Hoke of the Public Interest Law Center. "These practices severely limit the housing opportunities for families with children and it impacts their access to schools, jobs, shopping and other quality of life issues. We are glad we can resolve this issue without going to court."

"The settlement is a significant accomplishment for the Fair Housing Council of Southern New Jersey, who has been fighting housing discrimination in the Camden and Gloucester County area for the past seven years", states Anthony Davis, President of the Board of the Fair Housing Council. "We hope this settlement will encourage others who believe they have been discriminated against to come forth and fight for their rights".

The Fair Housing Council of Southern New Jersey is a private, not for profit fair housing agency serving Southern New Jersey counties. It provides education, advocacy and intervention services for groups and individuals involved in housing and members of the protected classes covered under both state and federal fair housing laws. The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia represents various fair housing groups, including the Fair Housing Council of Southern New Jersey, the Fair Housing Action Center, the Fair Housing Council of Montgomery County and the Housing Consortium for Disabled Individuals, in connection with fair housing enforcement.