Justice Department Resolves Fair Housing Claims Against Florida Apartment Complex

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

Orlando, FL – The Justice Department announced that Concord Court at Creative Village Partners LTD., Concord Management LTD., related entities and a property manager have agreed to pay $265,000 to resolve allegations that they discriminated against families with children in violation of the Fair Housing Act by imposing unlawful restrictions on minors at an apartment complex in Orlando, Florida. The complex, Amelia Court at Creative Village, is a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit development with more than 250 market-rate and affordable units.

Under the consent order, which must still be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the defendants will pay $260,000 to residents who were harmed by their practices and a civil penalty to the government to vindicate the public interest. The settlement also requires the defendants to implement nondiscrimination policies and provide fair housing training to employees with management or leasing responsibilities at over 80 residential rental properties they own or operate in Florida.

“Families with children should not be subject to discrimination to access or live in affordable housing,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to fight for the fair housing rights of families across the country.”

“Discriminatory practices that deny families equal and fair access to housing and all of their available amenities are inexcusable,” said U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg for the Middle District of Florida. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work with our partners to ensure that the nation’s fair housing laws are enforced throughout our district.”

“Families with children should not be denied the full use and enjoyment of their home because of discrimination,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Demetria L. McCain of HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD appreciates its partnership with the Department of Justice and commends the agency for safeguarding the housing rights of all families.”

Amelia Court at Creative Village includes two apartment towers, Concord Court and Amelia Court. The defendants manage both towers and own Concord Court’s residential units. The government’s complaint, also filed today, alleges that the defendants refused to issue building access devices to minor residents, prohibited children from common areas and amenities unless supervised by adults and misrepresented the availability of units in Concord Court to families with children.

The case arose when ten families who resided at the complex filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which determined that the defendants had violated the Fair Housing Act. The matters were referred to the Justice Department, which conducted its own investigation and filed this lawsuit.

Individuals who believe they or someone they know may have been discriminated against at  Amelia Court at Creative Village because they have children should send an e-mail to the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov or leave a message at 1-833-591-0291 (press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, then dial 1 for discrimination in housing and 4 to reach the voicemail box for this case).

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division enforces the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of familial status, race, color, national origin, religion, sex and disability. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt. Individuals may report housing discrimination by calling the Justice Department’s Housing Discrimination tip line at 1-833-591-0291, e-mailing the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov, or submitting a report online. Individuals may also report such discrimination by contacting HUD at 1-800-669-9777, or by filing a complaint with HUD online.