The FHA and HUD have announced a settlement in a New Hampshire housing discrimination case. According to HUDNo.14-089, a tenant filed two housing discrimination complaints against TKB Properties and the New England Family Housing Management Organization. Those complaints were settled and the settlement announced in the HUD/FHA press release.
“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.” Velaquez was quoted in the press release, which adds the following:
“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.”
The settlement includes a payment to the woman who filed the complaints. Additionally, “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.”
What does all this have to do with purchasing a home with an FHA home loan or refinancing a mortgage with an FHA loan?
Housing discrimination comes in all different types–this is just one example. The common thread in nearly all of these discrimination cases is that the injured party, the person or persons discriminated against, had to file complaints in order to stop the illegal discrimination and get their rights administered under the Fair Housing Act. It’s true that housing discrimination cases related to FHA loans have been settled in the past; borrowers who feel they have experienced such discrimination should contact the FHA and HUD immediately to address the issue.
Call HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 to file a complaint or to get advice.