The Justice Department announced today that Jerry L. Wilson, a Mt. Washington, Ky., landlord has agreed to pay $22,000 to resolve allegations that he violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against African-American apartment seekers and making statements indicating a preference for families without children for certain available apartments.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, charges that Wilson and EME LLC, misrepresented the availability of, and refused to negotiate for the rental of, apartments at Treva Court Apartments based on race or color. The lawsuit also alleges that Mr. Wilson made statements indicating a preference for families without children to rent second floor apartments at the complex he operates, located at 272 Treva Court in Mt. Washington. The allegations are based on evidence generated by the department’s Fair Housing Testing Program, in which individuals pose as renters to gather information about possible discriminatory practices.
The consent decree resolving this matter, which is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court, imposes a $22,000 civil penalty against Wilson and EME, LLC. In addition, the consent decree enjoins the defendants from further acts of discrimination and requires Wilson to undergo fair housing training.
“Housing discrimination based on race and against families with children remains a persistent problem.” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue its vigorous enforcement of fair housing laws that protect the rights of individuals and families to live where they choose free from discrimination.”
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt .