Detroit Rental Manager Settles Race Suit for $300,000

The Fourmidable Group (TFG), one of the largest multifamily rental management companies in Michigan, has agreed to a settlement of the racial discrimination lawsuit filed in 1992 by Hitten and Tracey Zaveri and the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit (FHC). Terms of the settlement with the Zaveris were not released. A "Consent Order" was recently tiled with U.S. District Judge Barbara K. Hackett that spells out the terms of the settlement between TFG and FHC. FHC Cooperating Attorney Victoria A. Roberts, a partner in the law firm of Goodman, Eden, Millender and Bedrosian, represented FHC in this case. Attorney Douglas Hyman, a partner in the law firm of Hyman and Lipper, represented the defendants. Ms. Roberts and Mr. Hyman have been opposing counsel in fair housing cases before. Their experience, skill and patience proved to be very helpful in crafting this settlement.

Included in the "Order" are commitments by TFG to continue several fair housing training, record keeping and monitoring programs that have been instituted by TFG. TFG has agreed to continue and expand activities it has initiated to affirmatively market TFG managed properties to all persons, and to "... engage in reasonable and affirmative efforts designed to increase minority employment at the management level and leasing agent level ..." of the firm. TFG has established the in-house position of "Fair Housing Officer" with responsibility for implementing the terms of the "Consent Order." As part of the settlement agreement, TFG, a Corporate Member of FHC, will provide a total of $300,000 in support for FCC's program over the next five years.

In a statement to the press issued jointly by TFG and FHC, TFG President Ron Slavik described the agreement as ". . . a demonstration of The Fourmidable Group's commitment to fair housing. Our long term financial support for the Fair Housing Center is an indication of The Fourmidable Group's commitment to eliminate housing discrimination in the metropolitan Detroit area."  FHC Board Chairperson Phil Cody stated that ". . . this settlement provides an opportunity for significant progress in the efforts to achieve fair and equal housing opportunities in the Detroit area. The Fair Housing Center welcomes the spirit of cooperation evidenced by The Fourmidable Group in the settlement of this lawsuit."

Reprint from the April FAIR HOUSING NEWS, of the Detroit Fair Housing Center.