Feds settle with Broward housing co-ops accused of discriminating against families with children

Three housing complexes on Hallandale Beach’s Isle of Paradise weren’t such a paradise for families with children, federal attorneys alleged, leading to a series of settlement agreements that officials announced.

Officials said the co-ops in question were Isle of Paradise “B,” “C” and “E” Inc., branded as the Monticello, the Georgetown and the Williamsburg buildings respectively. All are located in the 400 block of Paradise Isle Boulevard.

Attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice alleged that the co-ops violated the Fair Housing Act by having “no child under 12″ policies, in violation of rules prohibiting “familial status discrimination.”

All the while, the buildings weren’t in compliance with federal “housing for older persons” rules, a federal complaint alleges. Those would allow the buildings to be age-restricted so long as at least 80% of the occupied units have at least one person 55 or older living there.

“The department conducted an investigation and filed this lawsuit after a woman and her real estate agent informed the department that she was turned away from renting a unit at the Monticello building because she had a son under age 12,” a DOJ spokesperson said in a news release. “The department’s allegations were based, in part, on evidence generated by the department’s Fair Housing Testing Unit, in which individuals pose as prospective renters to gather information about possible discriminatory practices.”

According to the DOJ, the buildings will have to pay a total of $52,000, including $39,000 in payouts to those they were alleged to have discriminated against along with civil penalties to the government to “vindicate the public interest.”

The co-ops “also agreed to undergo fair housing training and to submit periodic reports to the department.”

The DOJ urged potential discrimination victims to email [email protected] or [email protected] or to call 833-591-0291, “selecting option 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, then option 1 for housing discrimination, and then option 7 for Isle of Paradise.”

From: https://www.local10.com/news/local/2024/01/09/feds-settle-with-broward-housing-co-ops-accused-of-discriminating-against-families-with-children/