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Groton realty groups must pay family in HUD discrimination case

By Julianne Hanckel

Publication: theday.com

Published 12/10/2012 12:00 AM
Updated 12/10/2012 05:11 PM

Three Groton real estate groups have agreed to pay a local woman $40,000 as a result of a violation of the Fair Housing Act, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced today.

A complaint was made last year by the Connecticut Fair Housing Center to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on behalf of a woman who claimed she was prevented from renting an apartment because of the size of her family, a press release said.

The complaint alleges that the defendants’ two-person-per-bedroom occupancy limit is more restrictive than state and local law, and unreasonably limits the ability of families with children to rent yat their property.

In addition to the $40,000, the employees of Landings Real Estate Group, Long Meadow Landings, LLC, and Landings Management, LLC, will undergo Fair Housing training and will report to the Department of Justice the results of the training and any future housing complaints.

Last December, a lawsuit was filed against the three real estate groups, the owners and the managers of the 156-unit rental property on South Road, claiming the woman was discriminated against when the company refused to rent a two-bedroom apartment to the woman and her four children.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office will not tolerate discrimination in Connecticut’s housing market and is prepared to bring enforcement actions, as we did here, when a family’s federal right to housing is denied,” U.S. Attorney David B. Fein said.

This matter has been investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ndidi Moses of the District of Connecticut, and Deputy Chief Tamar Hagler and Trial Attorney Jennifer Cass from the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

“Families with children should be able to obtain housing free from discrimination,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division said in the release.  “Discrimination in housing harms not only those who were denied housing, but also the communities in which they sought to live.”

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status.

More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt.

Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of housing discrimination can file a complaint with the United States Attorney’s Office at (203) 821-3700, call the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, email the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov, or contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777.


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