Justice Department Settles Lawsuit Against South Carolina Landlord for Discriminating Against Families with Children
WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 14, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — The Justice Department announced today that John Wingard Altman has agreed to pay $25,000 to settle a lawsuit involving violations of the Fair Housing Act at Altman Apartments, a 16-unit apartment complex he owns in Summerville, S.C. In July 2012, the court, ruling on a motion filed by the government, found that the defendant had violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against families with children.
Under the consent order, which was approved today by the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, the defendant must pay $15,000 to two people who were harmed by the defendant’s discriminatory practices and $10,000 to the United States as a civil penalty. In addition, the order prohibits the defendant from engaging in discrimination against families with children in the future and requires that he adopt a non-discrimination policy in addition to receiving training on the Fair Housing Act.
“The Fair Housing Act protects families with children against housing discrimination,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “Providing an equal opportunity for families with children to access housing without discrimination is required by law critical and we will vigorously enforce the law to ensure all families have access to housing.”
“This office follows the lead of the Department of Justice’s strong stance to ensure that access to one of the most basic of human needs, shelter, is not impeded by prejudice,” said William M. Nettles, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina.
Filed in September 2011, the lawsuit alleged that Mr. Altman, through published advertisements and statements to testers, maintained a policy or practice of discouraging families with children from living in the apartment complex. Testers are individuals who pose as renters to gather information about possible discriminatory practices; the evidence in this case was obtained by the department’s Fair Housing Testing Program.
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. Fair housing enforcement is a priority of the Civil Rights Division. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt . Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of housing discrimination can call the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, email the Justice Department at fairhousing (at) usdoj (dot) gov , or contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777.
No related posts.
- South Carolina REALTORS® Release May Market Numbers
- South Carolina Becomes 17th State to Ban Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements on Taxpayer-Funded Projects
- Duke Energy selects five South Carolina properties for potential industrial development
- Realtors® from South Carolina address critical housing issues on Capitol Hill
- South Carolina REALTORS® Release April Market Numbers
- Tradition Hilton Head's Eco-FriendlyWater Reuse Partnership with BJWSA is First of Its Kind in S.C.
- Coldwell Banker United, Realtors(R) Acquires Coldwell Banker Coastal Properties
- Hampton Lake Offers First Freshwater Lakeside Vacation Opportunity in Hilton Head Island Area
- DeMint: Housing Bill Could Increase Foreclosures, Reduce Home Values
- Hampton Lake Hosts Lecture for Bluffton Historical Preservation Society
- HGTV to Launch New 'Green' Home Giveaway in Spring 2008
- Overwhelming Response to Inaugural Trademark Properties Liquidation Sensation Event
- Hardeeville Receives $2.5 Million From Core Communities And Tradition Hilton Head For Its Recreation Park
- Department Of Treasury Awards Wachovia $105 Million New Markets Tax Credit Allocation
- Graham Supports Bill to Benefit Homeowners