News and Press Releases

Fair Housing Act Lawsuit Filed Against New Richmond Landlords

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 23, 2011

Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced a lawsuit against the managers of a residential hotel in New Richmond, Wis., alleging they violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating based on sex.

The lawsuit, filed today in the U.S. District Court in Madison, alleges that the Lowrey Hotel is a residential hotel which often provides housing to homeless individuals who have been referred by local agencies. According to the complaint, one of the hotel’s managers, Gerald Hoglund of New Richmond, sexually harassed a female tenant by making unwelcome requests to her for sexual favors. The complaint also alleges that Stacy Wright, co-manager and owner of the Lowrey Hotel & Café, LLC, warned the woman that Hoglund might ask for sexual favors but failed to take reasonable steps to prevent it. The lawsuit also names as a defendant Wright’s company, Lowrey Hotel & Café, LLC.

“Every person, regardless of gender, should have the opportunity to live and rent an apartment free from discrimination and sexual harassment," said United States Attorney Vaudreuil. “This lawsuit reaffirms our commitment to vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act, and the message should be clear: discrimination in housing will not be tolerated.”

The tenant filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which conducted an investigation and, after issuing a charge of discrimination, referred the matter to the Department of Justice.

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

Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of housing discrimination should call the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, mailbox number 9993, or email the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov. Individuals who believe they may have been victims of housing discrimination may also contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777.

The complaint is an allegation of unlawful conduct. The allegation must be proven in federal court.

 

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