July 5, 2011 | Categories: News | Tags: Children, fair housing, familial status, HUD, Monroe, U.S. Department of Justice
Testing by the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan confirmed that Shamrock Village had a “one child” policy. Pregnant? Two Kids? You aren’t welcome here. Below is an article from the Detroit News. 7/5/2011.
Monroe trailer park operators accused of discrimination settle lawsuit
Detroit— Operators of a Monroe trailer park today agreed to pay $27,500 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging they refused to rent lots or sell mobile homes to people with multiple children, a violation of federal housing laws.
The settlement was announced the same day the Department of Justice sued the Shamrock Village Mobile Home Park in federal court in Detroit. The lawsuit accuses the owner and operator of discriminating against customers and violating the Fair Housing Act.
The settlement includes creating a fund for people who suffered damages, and Shamrock Village has agreed to develop and maintain nondiscrimination policies.
The lawsuit — which names Eugene Ponzio, the company’s president, and property manager Mildred Wampler — sought to stop the mobile home company and employees from discriminating against anyone based on familial status.
“People who are struggling to find housing for their families should not have their choices limited by illegal advertisements and policies,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a prepared statement today.
Ponzio could not be reached immediately for comment today.
The case dates to April 2009, when a pregnant woman called Shamrock Village about living at the mobile home park with her husband and child.
“Oh, I’m sorry. We only allow one child here,” an employee told the woman, according to the lawsuit. “We don’t have a playground or anything for them to do outside.”
The woman later complained to the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan in Ann Arbor. The woman’s family filed a separate lawsuit, which was settled earlier this year
The center tested the trailer park’s policies. On three occasions, Shamrock Village employees said people with more than one child could not live there, according to the lawsuit.
Shamrock Village also advertised on its website that the park was more of an “adult community because we don’t have anything to offer children.”
“In today’s economy, it is more important than ever that working families with children have the fair access to housing guaranteed by law” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
Article from The Detroit News, no longer posted on line.
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