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Fair Housing of Marin Reaches Settlement With Property Managers

Two audits revealed that white people received preferential treatment when looking for housing.

Fair Housing of Marin Reaches Settlement With Property Managers

By Bay City News Service

The Fair Housing Authority of Marin has settled race discrimination complaints it filed against six rental properties in Benicia, Vallejo and Richmond.

The settlements were reached between June and November 2012 with the four housing management companies that owned 2,350 rental units at the six properties, Fair Housing of Marin's staff attorney Jessica Tankersley Sparks said this morning.

The two race discrimination audits Fair Housing of Marin conducted in Solano County and in Richmond revealed the housing providers consistently offered white people better terms and more attractive conditions than to blacks.

Whites were offered lower security deposits, lower or non-existent minimum income requirements, increased availability, more flexible lease terms and more information about amenities and encouragement to apply for housing than African-Americans.

Fair Housing of Marin filed administrative complaints with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The $38,000 the four housing management companies will pay to Fair Housing of Marin under the settlement will provide free counseling, enforcement, mediation, and legal or administrative referrals to people who experience housing discrimination.

Sparks said Fair Housing of Marin audits property managers for discrimination in Northern California and provides direct client services in Sonoma and Marin counties.

Other audits are pending and may be completed by this summer, Sparks said.

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