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HUD No. 19-022
HUD Public Affairs
(202) 708-0685
FOR RELEASE
Tuesday
March 5, 2019

HUD ORDER SETTLES CLAIM OF DISCRIMINATION BY MINNESOTA HOUSING PROVIDERS


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that Lakes and More Realty, Inc., operating as Bemidji Property Management, and the owners of a rental home in Beltrami County, MN, will pay $74,000 under a Consent Order resolving allegations that they refused to rent the house to a family of five adults and six minor children because they are Native American and Hispanic, and had minor children. Read the Consent Order.

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing because of race, national origin, and familial status.

"Denying a family housing because of their ethnicity of familial makeup not only robs them of a place to call home, it violates the law,” said Anna María Farías, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Today’s announcement reaffirms HUD’s commitment to protecting the housing rights of families and ensuring that all landlords comply with the Fair Housing Act.”

“The Fair Housing Act is a key part of protecting the American dream,” said Paul Compton, HUD’s General Counsel. “This settlement represents an important step in HUD’s continuing effort to vigorously protect the rights of families and persons of all races and national origins to be free from housing discrimination across the country.”

HUD filed a charge of discrimination in the case in August 2018 after the owners of the rental home refused to rent the six-bedroom residence to the multi-generational family. HUD’s charge alleged that the owners and real-estate broker discouraged the family from renting the home by offering them less favorable rental terms, including increasing the requested monthly rent by $1,000.

Under the terms of the Consent Order, the respondents will pay $74,000 to the families impacted; place a fair-housing advertisement in the local newspaper; and the real-estate broker will take fair housing and multicultural-sensitivity training.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. People who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing.

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