Protecting 30,000 Households

Housing, Racial Justice

Fighting the Wave of Hate: Federal Civil Rights Settlement Extends
Fair Housing Protections to 30,000 Households

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and our pro bono partner Foley Hoag LLP are pleased to announce a groundbreaking federal Fair Housing Act settlement that will provide protection against racial harassment to over 30,000 rental households up and down the East Coast.  The settlement represents one of the first of its kind to hold a landlord responsible for remedying tenant-on-tenant racial harassment.

The case arose out of egregious racial harassment suffered by our clients, an African-American family, at the hands of a neighboring tenant.  We filed suit in federal court, alleging that the landlord, a major East Coast based multi-state rental company with 30,000 units under management, had failed to adequately protect our clients from this harassment.

As part of the settlement we have now reached, the Defendant has agreed to modify its fair housing training materials for new and current employees to address the issue of tenant-on-tenant harassment, including the duty of landlords to address such discrimination and harassment.  The Defendant also agreed to pay damages to our clients and to implement a policy requiring property managers to report all allegations of tenant-on-tenant discrimination or harassment to regional management and requiring management to investigate such allegations.

Foley Hoag LLP (Kristyn Bunce DeFilipp, Michael Hoven, Anthony Mirenda) joined with the Lawyers’ Committee to represent the plaintiffs on a pro bono basis.

At a time when hate incidents and hate crimes are on the rise, we are proud to have reached this cutting-edge settlement that will provide thousands of families and individuals with much-needed protection against harassment and discrimination.