JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES FAVORABLE DECISION IN SUIT REGARDING HOUSING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MILITARY FAMILY

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES FAVORABLE DECISION IN SUIT REGARDING HOUSING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MILITARY FAMILY

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Justice Department today announced a favorable

decision in a housing discrimination lawsuit it brought on behalf of an Air

Force Captain and his wife.

Judge David R. Herndon of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of

Missouri ruled that the landlord, Mr. Kenneth Brosh refused to rent to the

couple because they had children, in violation of the federal Fair Housing

Act. Judge Herndon ordered the landlord to pay $15,445 in damages to the

couple.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against families with

children, said R. Alexander Acosta, Assistant Attorney General for Civil

Rights. The courts decision makes crystal clear the consequences for

violating this law. We are especially pleased to right a wrong done to member

of the armed forces and his wife, who were simply seeking to find a decent

place for their family to live near the military base.

The court found that in July 2000, Brosh refused to rent a house to Captain

Dale Van Dyke, his wife Jennifer and their three children, in violation of the

federal Fair Housing Act. The family relocated to Belleville because Van Dyke

had been stationed at Scott Air Force Base. The Scott Air Force Bases Housing

Assistance Office referred Van Dyke to Broshs rental house. When Jennifer Van

Dyke called Mr. Brosh about renting the house, however, he told her he did not

like renting to families with young children. The family was unable to find

another house in the area that was suitable for their family. They were forced

to stay in cramped temporary base housing for several additional days. The

family finally moved into a house in an undesirable neighborhood that lacked

adequate place for their children to play outside.

Van Dyke filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban

Development, which investigated the allegations and issued a charge of

discrimination. The Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the Justice

Departments Civil Rights Division prosecuted the case.

This is the second case the Justice Department handled this year in which the

victims of discrimination were military families. In January, the Department

entered into a consent decree with Trinidad Maldonado, the owner of the Midway

Mobile Home Park in Junction City, Kansas. The Midway Mobile Home Park houses

a number of military personnel stationed at the nearby Fort Riley Army Base

and their families. The Department alleged in that case that Mr. Maldonado

sexually harassed female tenants of the park, including several women whose

husbands were stationed at Fort Riley. Mr. Maldonado agreed to pay $300,000 to

settle the case.

Anyone who believes that he or she has been discriminated against in housing

should call the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the Justice

Departments Civil Rights Division at 1-800-896-7743 or 202-514-3713, or

contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777.

Additional information about the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the

Justice Departments Criminal Division is available on the Justice Department

website at www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing

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