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Fair Housing and Equal Credit Opportunity

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Justice , Civil Rights Division
CFDA #: 16.103

Program accomplishments...

The Housing and Civil Enforcement Section's enforcement efforts continue to achieve significant accomplishments. In fiscal year 2003, the Section filed a total of 21 pattern or practice complaints and successfully resolved 17 pattern or practice cases. In the last several years, the Section has increased its efforts to enforce the accessibility provisions of the Act in conjunction with the President?s New Freedom Initiative. From fiscal year 1998 through fiscal year 2003, 49 such pattern or practice cases were filed, alleging violations of these provisions. In fiscal year 2003, five of these cases were settled by consent decrees or out-of-court settlements containing monetary relief and important remedial principles and standards, including but not limited to, retrofitting existing units and construction of new units. In fiscal year 2003, the Section continued its very successful fair housing testing program. Since its creation in 1992 through the end of fiscal year 2003, the Department's testing program has resulted in the filing of 75 pattern or practice cases, 1 of which was filed in fiscal year 2003. As of the end of fiscal year 2003, 70 of the 75 cases had been resolved and the total monetary relief obtained in these cases is just over $10 million. A 2002 report by a bipartisan private organization established to monitor civil rights enforcement stated that the Section's testing program has enjoyed "extraordinary success" and has enabled the Department to better fulfill its mission of vigorously enforcing the Fair Housing Act. The Section's enforcement program also continues to put significant emphasis on enforcement of fair lending laws. Since 1992 through fiscal year 2003, 18 cases have been initiated attacking discrimination by financial institutions in the underwriting, marketing and pricing of loans. All of these cases have been resolved by consent decrees or settlement agreement resulting in nearly than $76 million in monetary relief. In addition to monetary relief, the settlements in these cases have required changes in banking practices. Examples of recent significant settlements and court judgments include: a Jackson, Mississippi, jury returned a $451,208 verdict against the owner and manager of numerous rental properties who violated the Fair Housing Act by sexually harassing female tenants; a consent order requiring retrofits of three apartment complexes in Tampa, Florida to increase accessibility to persons with disabilities, construction of 420 accessible single-family homes at an estimated cost of two million dollars, and payment of fifty thousand dollars in damages and civil penalties; a consent decree providing for $570,000 in damages to settle a lawsuit that alleged rental discrimination by an apartment complex in Jupiter, Florida on the basis of race, color and familial status; a settlement agreement with the owners of a Virginia club that denied access to a Sikh Muslim man on the same basis as white, non-Muslim patrons; consent decrees against nightclub and bar owners in Kansas, Alabama and West Virginia who denied black patrons access to the clubs on the same basis as whites; and a consent decree under which a major bank in Chicago will invest more than $10 million and open two new branches in minority neighborhoods to settle a lawsuit alleging that it engaged in mortgage redlining on the basis of race and national origin.