FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2001(202) 514-2007
WWW.USDOJ.GOVTDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SETTLES LAWSUIT AGAINST
ARKANSAS LAKEWOOD HOUSE APARTMENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. The current and former owners and managers of an Arkansas apartment complex will pay over $27,000 in compensation to an interracial couple and will consent to monitoring to resolve allegations of housing discrimination. The agreement, filed today in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, was reached with the Justice Department.
The consent decree resolves a September 2000 lawsuit that alleges that current and former owners and managers of the Lakewood House Apartments violated the Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent an apartment to an interracial couple and their minor child on account of race or color.
The defendants are James P. Matthews, Lakewood House L.L.P., The Woodcrest Company L.L.P, The Crestwood Company, James W. Webb, Dianna S. Webb and General Properties Inc.
In addition to the injunctive relief and monitoring, the consent decree will require the defendants to adopt non-discriminatory advertisements and maintain records of their rental activities, subject to Department review for at least 3 years.
"Such discrimination is illegal and denies freedom of choice to individuals seeking housing. We are pleased to see that steps will be taken to promote equal treatment of people of all races at this complex," said Assistant Attorney General Ralph F. Boyd, Jr.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability or familial status in the sale or rental of housing.
"Our office is pleased that a settlement was reached in this housing discrimination case," added Michael Johnson, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. "As a result of the consent decree, affirmative steps will be taken to ensure that persons won't be denied the right to rent an apartment at the Lakewood House because of race."
This case was referred to the Civil Rights Division's Housing and Civil Enforcement Section from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). After receiving complaints about the property and conducting and completing an investigation, HUD determined that there was reasonable cause to believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred.