FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4, 2003
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH POOLER, GEORGIA REGARDING ALLEGED FAIR HOUSING ACT VIOLATIONS
WASHINGTON, DC - The Justice Department today announced an agreement with the city of Pooler, Georgia to settle a lawsuit that alleged violations of the federal Fair Housing Act.
The lawsuit, filed on November 13, 2001, alleged that the Savannah suburb of Pooler violated the Fair Housing Act when it rejected - for reasons of race - a developer’s proposal to build affordable apartments for senior citizens using federal low-income housing tax credits.
Under the consent decree, filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, the city of Pooler will contribute up to $425,000 towards construction of new affordable housing for seniors under the tax credit program. In addition, the Georgia developer who attempted to build the housing will receive $25,000 in compensation.
“In the United States, every individual has the right to obtain housing, without discrimination on the basis of their race or color,” said Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. “We are pleased that new affordable housing for senior citizens in the Savannah metropolitan area will be made available for persons of all races.”
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and family status. This prohibition includes discriminatory land use and zoning practices by local governments and housing authorities.
“This is an appropriate resolution which is entirely consistent with the purpose and intent of the Fair Housing Act,” said Richard S. Thompson, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “We will continue to work to root out discrimination.”
Individuals who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination should contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development at (800) 669-9777. Additional information is available on HUD's website at and the Justice Department website at.