Mobile Home Park Sued for Housing Discrimination

(Chester County, PA, Apr. 24, 2007) Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia and Chester County Homeowner File Federal Housing Discrimination Lawsuit Against Loags Corner Mobile Home Park and Horning Farm Agency, Inc.

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2007

Contact: James Berry, Executive Director
Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia

The Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia (FHCSP) and Glenn Brown filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Philadelphia against Loags Corner Mobile Home Park and Horning Farm Agency, Inc. for violating the federal Fair Housing Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. FHCSP’s enforcement efforts determined that Loags Corner Mobile Home Park and Horning Farm Agency, Inc. are discriminating against families with children in the process of illegally converting its mobile home parks into 55 and over communities. 

In September of 2006, FHCSP received a complaint from Glenn Brown who lived by himself in a two bedroom manufactured home in Loags Corner Mobile Home Park in Elverson, PA (Chester County). The community is owned and operated by Horning Farm Agency, Inc. Several years ago, a sign was put up within the community identifying it as a “FUTURE ADULT COMMUNITY” despite numerous young families living there. Mr. Brown purchased another home in October 2006 and listed his manufactured house for sale. Families have expressed an interest in Brown’s home but because Loags Corner will not consider any prospective tenants with children, he has been unable to sell it.

FHCSP and Mr. Brown retained the assistance of, Arthur Haywood, Esq. of Haywood LLC, and on April 11th, 2007, FHCSP and Mr. Brown filed suit in federal district court against Horning Farm Agency, Inc. James Berry, FHCSP’s Executive Director, stated “There are specific HUD guidelines on how to convert existing housing to age restricted housing without violating the familial status provisions of the Fair Housing Act. By ignoring these guidelines, Horning Farm Agency and Loags Corner Mobile Park denied families with children an affordable housing opportunity in Chester County."

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in any aspect of the sale, rental, insuring, financing or advertising of dwellings on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex or familial status (the presence of children in the family) and disability. The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) issued a statement of policy clarifying the process for converting a community to Housing for Older Persons. This memo states that in order to legally convert, 80% of the units must be occupied by someone age 55 or over. Prior to reaching the 80% threshold, a community cannot reserve units for person 55 and over or advertise itself as a 55 and over community. Families with children who are qualified and want to occupy a unit in the community must be allowed to do so. If a community reaches the 80% threshold without discriminating against families with children, it can legally begin the process of conversion. Loags Corner Mobile Home Park did not achieve the 80% threshold required to begin the process for conversion. FHCSP, founded in 1956, is the nation’s oldest fair housing organization. FHCSP’s mission is to educate and advocate for equal access to quality, affordable housing in the Philadelphia region.

Anyone suspecting that they were denied housing for discriminatory reasons or housing providers who want information on how they can operate their business in a nondiscriminatory manner should contact FHCSP at 610-604-4411 or visit our website.