|HUD No. 19-167
HUD Public Affairs
November 15, 2019
HUD ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH OWNERS OF GEORGIA APARTMENT COMPLEX RESOLVING HOUSING DISCRIMINATION CLAIM
WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has reached a $80,000 Conciliation/Voluntary Compliance Agreement with Oglethorpe Square Apartments, LP, of Savannah, GA, and Gene B. Glick Company, Inc., of Indianapolis, IN. The agreement settles allegations that the owners and management agent for the Woods of Savannah apartment complex subjected African-American tenants at the property to repeated instances of racial harassment by white tenants, which included verbal attacks and physical assaults. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in housing because of race or color, which includes failing to take measures to end tenant-on-tenant harassment and denying tenantsâ€™ maintenance requests.
â€śNo one should ever have to face threats or be subjected to physical violence in the place they call home because of their race,â€ť said Anna MarĂa FarĂas, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. â€śThe agreement weâ€™re announcing today is a reminder to housing providers everywhere that HUD is committed to ensuring that they meet their obligation to comply with the nationâ€™s fair housing laws.â€ť
The case came to HUDâ€™s attention when three African-American residents of The Woods of Savannah filed complaints claiming that the owners of the property refused to investigate and address their claims that white tenants had subjected them to racial harassment and verbal and physical assaults, including attacks by dogs. The three residents further alleged that the propertyâ€™s management ignored their maintenance requests and delayed the maintenance requests of other African-American residents. The housing provider denied discriminating against the residents but agreed to settle their complaints.
Under the terms of the agreement, Oglethorpe Square Apartments, LP, and Gene B. Glick Company will pay the three residents who filed complaints $20,000 each, and create a $20,000 fund to compensate other residents who may have been subjected to racial harassment. The owners also agreed to provide annual fair housing training for the staff and on-site management of The Woods of Savannah.
Persons who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUDâ€™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.