WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 4, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today an agreement with a North Miami Beach condominium association settling allegations its board president harassed and made discriminatory remarks about Black and Hispanic residents and attempted to evict them. Read HUD’s Conciliation Agreement with Aqua Vista Townhomes Condominium Association.
“You can’t deny people housing because of what they look like or where they come from,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “We have zero tolerance for those who discriminate against people because of their race or national origin.”
The settlement is the result of a complaint filed by HUD alleging the president of the condominium association’s board of directors, Daniella Adams, engaged in a number of discriminatory actions against Black and Hispanic residents participating in the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program. HUD alleged Adams reported the tenants to Miami Dade Public Housing Agency for contrived Section 8 rules violations in an attempt to have them removed from the property. As a result of Adams’ actions, several residents who were Section 8 voucher holders moved out of the complex.
Under the Conciliation Agreement, the condo association will establish a $109,000 compensation fund to pay damages to more than 20 residents and others harmed by Adams’ alleged discriminatory actions, adopt an application policy that does not allow discrimination, and provide fair housing training for the association’s board members, officers and employees.
The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to refuse to rent or to make housing unavailable to any persons because of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability. The Fair Housing Act also makes it unlawful to intimidate or interfere with any person’s right to enjoy his or her home.
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 iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, as well as Android devices.