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Sarah Tankson.

Tankson v Arbor Apartments

#W95-21 | Location: Ann Arbor | Court Level: State | Settlement: $5,000

Categories: Physical Disability, Race, Rental
Tags: African American, Black, Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act

Sarah Tankson filed suit against Thomas Robert Allmand, owner of Arbor Apartments, claiming discrimination based on disability and race. The lawsuit claims that Arbor Apartments’ agents violated both the Michigan Handicappers’ Civil Rights Act and the Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Act that bans race discrimination. They refused to rent an apartment to Tankson because she has a disability and therefore receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Tankson is African-American and has a hereditary condition known as myoclonus.

The Fair Housing Center of Washtenaw County investigated Tankson’s claim after she contacted the organization in March of 1995. The FHC investigation found differences in treatment between testers saying they had a disabled family member and those without a disabled family member. FHC testing and a witness statement supported Tankson’s claim of discrimination based on disability and race.

According to the suit, Tankson was forced to move to another complex outside the City of Ann Arbor where she is not eligible for subsidized transportation services.

FHC Cooperating Attorney David Cahill filed the suit in Washtenaw County Circuit Court. The case is assigned to Judge Richard E. Conlin. Tankson accepted $5,000 to settle her suit.

Tankson also field a complaint with the City of Ann Arbor claiming discrimination based on source of income. The City of Ann Arbor claim was forwarded to the City Attorney for consideration, where the case was dismissed.

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