Court Allows Justice Dept. Discrimination Case Against NC Landlord to Proceed

On August 13, 2014, United States District Court Judge Louise Flanagan refused to dismiss a lawsuit alleging a Washington, NC, landlord with racial discrimination. The lawsuit, brought by the U.S. Department of Justice in September 2012, alleges that William I. Cochran, III, and several entities that he is affiliated with discriminated against African American tenants over […]

United Nations Panel Calls for U.S. Gov’t to Address Housing Discrimination

On August 29, 2014, the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination issued a report calling on the United States government to take further steps to address housing discrimination in the nation. The report, which was based on submissions that the U.S. government made to the panel in August 2014, looked at a number of areas […]

FH Project Seeks Restraining Order for Victims of Sexual Extortion

On June 30, 2014, Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Fair Housing Project and Greensboro attorney Craig Hensel filed a motion asking a U.S. district court to prevent a nonprofit housing group from retaliating against eight women who say the group’s employees extorted sex in exchange for facilitating their participation in a federal housing subsidy program. Legal […]

Pinehurst Settles Discrimination Case Over Affordable Housing

On June 4, 2014, the Village of Pinehurst agreed to settle a fair housing discrimination claim brought by developers and residents over the Village’s refusal to allow an affordable housing project to be developed for senior citizens. As part of the settlement, the Village will agree to make the zoning changes necessary for the 56-unit development […]

15th Anniversary of Olmsted Decision

Fifteen years ago this month — on June 22, 1999 — the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Olmstead v. L.C. (“Olmsted“), finding that the unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities constitutes discrimination in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This landmark Supreme Court decision requires states […]

Rhode Island City Sues Santander Bank for Redlining

On May 29, 2014, the City of Providence, Rhode Island, filed a lawsuit in federal court against Santander Bank, N.A., accusing the bank of discrimination in mortgage lending. The City alleges that since 2009, Santander has deliberately discriminated by refusing to make prime mortgage loans available in minority neighborhoods, in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act. Since it […]

Justice Department Increases Civil Monetary Penalties for Fair Housing Violations

On March 28, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice published a notice increasing the civil monetary penalties for violations of the Fair Housing Act. Under the new rule, which applies to violations that occur on or after April 28, 2014, the maximum civil penalty for a first violation has increased from $55,000 to $75,000, and for subsequent violations […]

Training on Fair Housing and Sexual Harassment, Domestic Violence and Unequal Access

On June 27, 2014, the Fair Housing Project, in conjunction with the North Carolina Bar Association, is sponsoring a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program titled “Home, Sweet Home: Litigating Fair Housing Claims (Based on Domestic Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Unequal Access).” The event will take place from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm at the NC Bar […]

Pelham, NC, Landlord Order to Pay $36,000 for Race Discrimination

On April 10, 2014, a Virginia landlord with property in Pelham, NC, was ordered to pay $36,000 for discriminating against prospective African American tenants. The landlord, John Sylvania Matthews, III, resides in Danville, VA, and rents property in both Virginia and North Carolina. The case arose in September 2013, when an African American woman called him about a […]

City of Dubuque to End Discriminatory Residency Preference in Housing Program

On April 15, 2014, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it had reached an agreement with the City of Dubuque, Iowa, to settle allegations that the City discriminated against African Americans in the administration of its Housing Choice (“Section 8″) Voucher Program. In a 2011 review, HUD had found that […]