FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES ATLANTA-AREA APARTMENT OWNER AND MANAGEMENT COMPANY FOR ENGAGING IN RACE DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Justice Department announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against Habersham Properties Inc., and the manager of the Crescent Court apartment complex located in Decatur, Georgia, for engaging in a pattern of race discrimination against apartment seekers who were black. The rental agent, an employee of Habersham Properties, Inc., as well as the owners of the apartment complex, Peachtree Battle Investors LLC, were also named in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, alleges that Suzanne Monner, the rental agent at Crescent Court, violated the Fair Housing Act by telling black prospective applicants that there were no apartments available for rent at Crescent Court when apartments were available. According to the complaint, Monner allowed white applicants to inspect apartments and gave them the opportunity to rent them, while falsely informing black applicants that there were no apartments available for inspection or for rent.
"Denying people housing because of the color of their skin is illegal," said Ralph F. Boyd, Jr. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. "This type of blatant discrimination will not be tolerated."
The lawsuit seeks an order prohibiting the defendants from engaging in unlawful housing discrimination at Crescent Court apartment complex, as well as at twenty-eight other apartment complexes managed by Habersham Properties, Inc. The lawsuit also seeks monetary damages for the victims of the defendants' unlawful conduct and payment of a civil penalty.
Anyone who believes that they may have been the victims of discrimination at Crescent Court apartment complex, or any of the other apartment complexes managed by Habersham Properties, Inc., should call the Justice Department's Housing and Civil Enforcement Section at 1-800-896-7743 (ext. 6). Additional information is available at the Justice Department website http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing/housing_main.htm.