HUD Claims African-American Family Evicted Because of Their Race

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it has charged the managers and owners of a Kentucky apartment complex with housing discrimination. HUD alleges that Mary Sue Brooks, Jan Partin and Brooks Properties, LLC, violated the Fair Housing Act when they evicted an African-American family following a home invasion at West Park Village Apartments in Paducah. The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing because of race and/or color and sex.

According to HUD’s Charge of Discrimination, a series of break-ins occurred in apartments rented by white persons at West Park Village. The incident at complainants’ apartment was a home invasion, in which the wife and mother suffered physical injury. After the home invasion, respondents sent a notice-to-vacate the premises only to the African-American family. None of the white families whose homes were burglarized received a notice-to-vacate. The Charge asserts that respondents sent complainants the notice-to-vacate because of their race or color, as well as their sex.

"The family and their home were already violated by the home invasion. To compound this outrage with a violation of the Fair Housing Act is unconscionable, and compels the federal government to take action to protect their rights," said John Trasviña, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "HUD will continue to vigorously enforce the law on behalf of families like this one and ensure that landlords and property managers abide by federal fair housing laws and do not treat residents differently because of their race or sex."

The HUD charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge. If the administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, the judge may award damages to the family for their losses as a result of the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as civil penalties to vindicate the public interest.

FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate approximately 10,500 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777 (voice), 800-927-9275 (TTY). Additional information is available at http://portal.hud.gov/fairhousing.

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