US housing society sued for discriminating against Indians

US housing society sued for discriminating against Indians

A Seattle-based housing society will pay over USD 100,000 to settle a US Justice Department lawsuit that alleged the society discriminated against Indians and African-Americans seeking to rent apartments in the complex.

According to the lawsuit, owners and operators of Summerhill Place Apartments, a 268 apartment complex in Renton near Seattle, "steered Indian tenants away from the Summerhill buildings and treated tenants from India less favourably than other tenants."

The owners also discriminated against African-Americans, Hispanic Americans and families with children, the Justice Department said.

"Working families already face enough challenges finding affordable housing," Assistant Attorney General for the department's Civil Rights Division Thomas Perez said.

"Unlawful discrimination because of their race, their national origin, or because they have children, should not be one of them."

Summerhill owners will pay USD 110,000 in damages and civil penalties to settle the lawsuit.

Under the terms of the settlement, USD 85,000 would go to tenants and prospective tenants who were harmed by the discriminatory practices and USD 25,000 to the government as a civil penalty.

The lawsuit was filed in July 2010 against owner of the apartments, Summerhill Place LLC, management company Gran Inc and a former onsite manager.

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