|HUD No. 23-229
HUD Public Affairs
October 4, 2023
HUD Charges New Orleans Owner and Property Manager Based on Racial Linguistic Profiling and Familial Status Discrimination
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging N. Clark, LLC and Kathleen Cresson, owner and manager of a multi-family rental home in New Orleans, Louisiana, with discriminating against potential tenants based on race and familial status. Read the charge here.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race and familial status. This includes prohibiting housing providers from refusing to negotiate the rental with persons of a particular race and steering potential renters due to their familial status. The Act also prohibits housing providers from making discriminatory statements about renters with children.
HUD’s charge alleges that Ms. Cresson screened potential tenants by allowing their calls to go to voicemail. She then failed to negotiate the rental with black testers while negotiating the rental with white testers. The charge also alleges that Ms. Cresson steered testers with children away from the property by repeatedly highlighting aspects of the property that purportedly made it unsuitable for families while making discriminatory statements indicating a preference for renters without children.
“The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was specifically designed to combat racial discrimination in housing. A person’s race or the fact there are children in the household should not be barriers when trying to rent,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Today’s charge demonstrates HUD's ongoing commitment to ensuring enforcement of the Fair Housing Act when housing providers fail to comply.”
“A landlord who ignores inquiries from tenants based on their race or who pressures potential tenants with children not to apply for housing is violating the Fair Housing Act,” said HUD General Counsel Damon Smith. “HUD is committed to eradicating unlawful housing discrimination in all the forms it may take.”
A United States Administrative Law Judge will hear HUD’s charge 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, they may award damages to the fair housing organization for their losses as a result of 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 civil penalties to vindicate the public interest. If the federal court hears the case, the judge may also award punitive damages to the complainant.
People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 (voice) 800-927-9275 (TTY) or the Department of Justice at (800) 896-7743 or 202-514-4713. Additional information is available at www.hud.gov/fairhousing and www.justice.gov.