Stories indexed with the term ‘Fair Housing Act’

Settlement Reached in Fair Housing Case

Pam Kisch has a vivid, and unpleasant, memory of what happened when a federal civil-rights suit was filed against the owners and managers of a south Ann Arbor apartment complex this past March.

Ivanhoe Apartments office sign

The Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan found that potential renters of Ivanhoe Apartments in Ann Arbor sometimes had different experiences, depending on their race. (Photos by the writer.)

“Channel 7 came in and did a story that had these sound bytes from residents,” says Kisch, executive director of the Fair Housing Center of Southeast Michigan. ”People got on camera and said ‘No, there’s no discrimination here.’

“They might live there,” says Kisch, “but they don’t know.”

By then, Kisch was sure she did know.

Between 2006 and 2009, the Ann Arbor-based Fair Housing Center sent 18 men and women to the Ivanhoe Apartments to present themselves as prospective tenants. Some were African-American; some were white. The very different experiences they described prompted the U.S. Justice Department to file a race discrimination suit.

Although they deny any wrongdoing, the owners and operators of the apartment complex have now agreed to pay $82,500 to settle the case. The details of a settlement were announced this week by the Justice Department. The agreement must still be approved by U.S. District Court Judge Sean F. Cox. [Full Story]