|HUD No. 11-198
September 6, 2011
HUD CHARGES CONNECTICUT PROPERTY OWNER, MANAGER WITH DENYING HOUSING TO AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that it is charging Merline and Clifton Hylton, the owner and manager of a rental home in Windsor Locks, Connecticut with violating the Fair Housing Act for denying a request by biracial tenants to sublease their home to an African American family. The current tenants allege that Mr. Hylton told them he was rejecting the prospective sub-tenants because he "did not want too many blacks at the property."
HUD brings the charge on behalf of the tenants and the African-American family denied the sublease. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race or color, including making discriminatory statements, establishing a preference, or imposing different terms and conditions based on race or color.
"Despite the progress we've made as a nation, overt acts of discrimination still occur today," said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Whether discrimination is hidden or out in the open, HUD will combat it and hold those who violate the law accountable."
According to HUD's charge, the current residents notified Mr. Hylton, president of Hylton Real Estate Management, Inc., that they needed to move, requiring them to break their lease agreement. They informed Mr. Hylton that they would find a suitable renter to sublease the house. Subsequently, when the husband told Mr. Hylton that he had found someone, Hylton asked if the person is white. When the husband said that the prospective tenant is black, Hylton allegedly stated that he "did not want too many blacks at the property" and that "the neighbors would not want to see too many blacks there." Hylton also allegedly told the husband that the only reason he rented the house to him was because his wife is white and it was "a good mix."
The husband subsequently told the prospective tenant that the owner had refused to approve subletting the house to her and her family. When the current residents moved out and sought their security deposit, Mr. Hylton refused without explanation.
HUD's charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he may award damages to aggrieved persons for the damages caused them by the discrimination.
The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief to deter further discrimination, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose fines in order to vindicate the public interest. If the matter is decided in federal court, the judge may also award punitive damages to aggrieved persons.
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate more than 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).
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDgov, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.