The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Friday that a Nashville apartment complex will pay more than $170,000 as part of a settlement resolving allegations that it discriminated against Hispanic tenants based on their national origin.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to impose different rental terms and conditions based on national origin, race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.
“Since 1968, the Fair Housing Act has prohibited national origin discrimination, including evicting tenants or denying them service because of their ancestry,” said John Trasviña, HUD assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Central to HUD’s mission is to ensure that every person has the right to housing free from discrimination. Today’s settlement advances that goal.”
After being told about the complex’s discriminatory rental practices, HUD filed a Secretary-initiated complaint alleging that TriTex Real Estate Advisors, Inc., of Atlanta, and its management company terminated lease agreements, ignored maintenance requests, and intimidated and harassed Hispanic tenants.
Under the terms of the agreement, the manager and owner will establish a $150,000 victims’ compensation fund for former residents administered by an independent agency and to pay $10,000 each to two non-profit organizations – the Tennessee Fair Housing Council and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition – to identify potential claimants. In addition, TriTex and its management company will adopt fair housing policies and its employees will undergo fair housing training.
Persons 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, or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.