FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2003
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
IN FLORIDA HOUSING DISCRIMINATION CASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department today announced a settlement in a Florida case that alleged violations to the federal Fair Housing Act. The owners and managers of the Mallards Cove apartment complex in Jupiter, Florida have agreed to pay $570,000 to settle a lawsuit that alleged discrimination against apartment seekers on the basis of race, color and familial status.
Under the consent decree, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and must still be approved by the Court, the defendants will contribute $520,000 for the purpose of paying damages to any individuals who may have suffered as a result of defendants’ discriminatory housing practices. The defendants will also pay a civil penalty of $50,000.
“In the United States, every individual has the right to obtain housing without discrimination on the basis of their race, color, or familial status,” said R. Alexander Acosta, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Through settlement agreements such as this one, we are ensuring that the protections of the Fair Housing Act are fairly enforced.”
The lawsuit, which stemmed from fair housing testing conducted by the Justice Department and the Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches, Inc., alleged that managers of Mallards Cove denied apartments to African-American individuals and families with children trying to rent apartments at the complex.
As part of the settlement, the defendants have also agreed to adopt non-discriminatory standards and procedures for the processing of rental applications at Mallards Cove apartment complex, undergo testing to ensure future compliance and receive training on the Fair Housing Act.
Individuals who believe they may have been harmed by the actions in this case may call the Justice Department's Housing and Civil Enforcement Section at 800-896-7743 extension 995. Additional information is available on HUD’s website at www.hud.gov <http://www.hud.gov> and the Justice Department website at www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing <http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing>.