Friday, July 25, 2014

Woodland Garden Apartments settles for $80K on discrimination against families with children

Woodland Garden Apartments settles for $80K on discrimination against families with children

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - The Justice Department today announced an agreement with the owners and operators of Woodland Garden Apartments in Fremont, California, to settle allegations of discrimination against families with children.  Under the consent order, which must still be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the defendants are required to pay $77,500 to the victims of their discrimination and an additional $2,500 to the government as a civil penalty.  The settlement resolves a complaint filed by the department on Oct. 25, 2013.

The lawsuit alleged that the apartment complex maintained rules that discriminated against families with children in violation of the Fair Housing Act.  Specifically, the lawsuit challenged a rule that prohibited children from playing outside in the common grassy areas of the complex and provided that families would be evicted if they violated this rule.  The lawsuit also alleged that the actions of the defendants constituted a pattern or practice of discrimination.

The lawsuit arose as a result of complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by five families who lived at Woodland Garden Apartments and by Project Sentinel, a fair housing organization operating in Northern California.  After an investigation of the complaints, HUD issued a charge of discrimination and the complainants were referred to the department.

In addition to monetary payments, the consent order requires defendants to implement a nondiscrimination policy, establish new enforcement procedures for rule violations and undergo training on the Fair Housing Act.

Persons who believe they have experienced or witnessed unlawful housing discrimination may call the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, e-mail the Justice Department at , or contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777.  More information about the Fair Housing Act can also be found at the department website or the HUD website .

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