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Mackey v Parkhill Apartments

#W01-44 | Location: Ypsilanti | Court Level: Federal | Settlement: $11,500

Categories: Race, Rental
Tags: African American, Black

When Rashawnda and Marcus Mackey, an African-American couple, were denied a unit at Parkhill Apartments, Ms. Mackey was suspicious. She contacted the FHC to report the denial.

In 1997, FHC assisted Pamela Thomas with a lawsuit against Parkhill. Her familial status case settled for $7,500. Both cases involved the same agent. In response to the Mackey’s complaint FHC Coordinator of Investigations Mary Bejan sent teams of African American and white testers to the Ypsilanti apartment complex. In late May 2001 a white tester was told about an apartment available for July 1, 2001, while the African-American tester was told that no units were available then are any time in the summer.

When the testing supported Ms. Mackey’s claim of race discrimination, FHC staff met with the Mackey’s to discuss their next step. They decided on litigation and chose FHC Cooperating Attorney Steve Tomkowiak. Mr. Tomkowiak filed suit on behalf of the Mackey’s in U.S. Federal District Court, the case was assigned to Judge Denise Page Hood. Testing for this cases was funded by a contract with Washtenaw County.

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