Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fair Housing Attorney Claims Retaliation Just for Doing His Job

Retaliation complaints under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) typically follow this fact pattern: a tenant alleges she suffered harm (such as an eviction) because her landlord didn't like the fact she brought an earlier discrimination complaint against him.

But a settlement between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), shows how retaliation cases don't always fit this mold.

In this case, it's the attorney for alleged victims of race-based discrimination who claims he was retaliated against — simply for doing his job of advocating on behalf of his clients.

HUD claims that former CMHA Chair Arnold Barnett violated the law by allegedly threatening to use "public housing resources" to retaliate against the attorney for having filed a fair housing complaint, according to a report from the Business Courier of Cincinnati. Mr. Barnett reportedly made comments to local media outlets, including the Courier, calling for CMHA to purchase low-income housing units in the attorney's neighborhood.

According to a press release from HUD, the settlement agreement provides that Mr. Barnett won't seek reappointment to the CMHA Board and won't be eligible to participate in most federal programs for a period of three years. In addition, Mr. Barnett has agreed to cooperate with HUD and serve as a witness both in connection with the fair housing complaints and HUD's ongoing investigation of CMHA.

CMHA and Mr. Barnett, who stepped down as chair last year and recently announced his resignation from the board, have denied the allegations.

1 comment:

Kathy Andres said...

WOW!!! Stupid as a bucket of rocks!!! Unfortunately, there are just some people who just don't get it!!!