JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SETTLES FAIR HOUSING
ACT LAWSUIT AGAINST GROTON PROPERTY OWNER
The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice today announced that Landings Real Estate Group, Long Meadow Landings, LLC, and Landings Management, LLC, which had been charged by the United States with violations of the Fair Housing Act, has agreed to pay $40,000 to the victim, have its employees undergo Fair Housing training, and to report to the Department of Justice the results of its training and any future housing complaints. The Justice Department’s civil enforcement action had alleged that the defendants discriminated against families with children by enforcing an occupancy policy at a Groton, Conn., apartment complex.
“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,” said U.S. Attorney David B. Fein.
“Families with children should be able to obtain housing free from discrimination,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. “Discrimination in housing harms not only those who were denied housing, but also the communities in which they sought to live.”
This matter stems from a fair housing complaint made 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. In December 2011, the government filed a lawsuit alleging that Long Meadow Landings, LLC, Landings Real Estate Group and Landings Management, LLC, owners and managers of the 156-unit rental property located on South Road in Groton, discriminated on the basis of familial status by refusing to rent a two-bedroom apartment to the woman and her four children. The complaint alleges that, as applied in this case, 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 at the property.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com, or contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777.
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