The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, charges Jerry Wilson and EME LLC, with allegedly discriminating against African-American apartment seekers by misrepresenting to these prospective tenants the availability of housing units at Treva Court Apartments, located in Mt. Washington, Ky.
Another claim in the lawsuit alleges that Wilson made statements indicating a preference for families without children to rent second floor apartments at the complex.
According to the DOJ, the allegations were based on evidence generated by the department’s Fair Housing Testing Program, in which individuals posed as renters to gather information about possible discriminatory practices.
The consent decree resolving this matter, which is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court, imposes a $22,000 civil penalty against Wilson and EME, LLC. In addition, the defendants have to undergo fair housing training.
“Housing discrimination based on race and against families with children remains a persistent problem,” said Jocelyn Samuels, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division. “The Justice Department will continue its vigorous enforcement of fair housing laws that protect the rights of individuals and families to live where they choose free from discrimination.”