HUD No. 08-004
January 22, 2008
HUD SETTLES DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT AGAINST ONTARIO, CALIFORNIA TOWNHOUSE COMPLEX
Landlord and management company to pay family over $10,000
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it has reached a $10,344 settlement with the owners of an Ontario, California townhouse complex for allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act. The family, among other things alleged that Hollie Meeks, resident manager of Ontario Townhouses, harassed Hispanic families and subjected them to different terms and conditions.
HUD's investigation found that Meeks, an employee of Ontario Townhouse Limited Partnership and Edgewood Management Corporation, overcharged rent, refused to do repairs, and yelled at Hispanic residents because they did not speak English. Upon receiving a notice of rent increase, one family requested help from Meeks, but she demanded more documents, harassed, yelled and threatened them with eviction.
"Residents of Ontario Townhouses should be able to enjoy their homes without being harassed because of their national origin," said Kim Kendrick, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "We are pleased that the owners of this development are taking steps to eliminate the kind of behavior that unlawfully violates the rights of hardworking families."
Under the settlement agreement, Ontario Townhouse Limited Partnership and Edgewood Management Corporation will pay $10,344 to one family and terminate Meeks. The owners of Ontario Townhouses will also provide oral interpretation services, display and maintain fair housing posters in English and Spanish, and have the new resident manager and other staff participate in a fair housing training course.
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate approximately 10,000 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 www.hud.gov/fairhousing. Stay on top of the most up-to-date news regarding the Fair Housing Act by signing up for the FHEO RSS Feed.
###HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.