WASHINGTON – July 23, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today agreements with the owners and managers of two Berlin, New Hampshire properties, settling allegations that they engaged in housing discrimination when they refused to rent to a woman who was a victim of domestic violence.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status.
“No woman should be denied housing based on her status as a domestic violence survivor,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD remains committed to ensuring and promoting fair housing opportunities for women and men alike.”
The agreement is the result of two complaints filed by a woman with HUD in December 2013. In the first complaint, the woman alleged that TKB Properties and the New England Family Housing Management Organization refused to renew her lease because of police visits responding to her domestic violence-related 911 calls. The second complaint arose when the woman was searching for another home after her lease was not renewed, alleging that landlord Michael Warren refused to rent her an apartment based on the previous domestic violence-related police visits.
Under the terms of agreement one and agreement two, the woman will receive $13,550 from the three respondents. The landlords have agreed to participate in fair housing training and undergo monitoring by HUD. TKB Properties and New England Family Housing also will revise their policies and leases for all HUD-subsidized properties to comply with the Violence Against Women Act and HUD’s regulations providing protection for victims of domestic violence in public and federally-funded housing.
The woman was represented by New Hampshire Legal Assistance, which receives funding through HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program to assist people who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed at www.hud.gov/fairhousing or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the
need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build
inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and
http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDGov, on facebook at
www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s Email List.