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JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES GLENDALE APARTMENT COMPLEX FOR REFUSING TO RENT TO AFRICAN AMERICANS WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Justice Department today sued the owners and manager of a Glendale, California, apartment complex for allegedly refusing to rent units to African-Americans. The case stems from a nationwide testing program that has produced 28 suits, including four in the Los Angeles area alone. Under the program, trained pairs of black and white testers with similar credentials posing as prospective tenants inquire about available units. By comparing the experiences of the testers, investigators are able to determine whether minorities are treated less favorably than whites. Today's complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, accuses the owners of the Kenwood Court Apartments, Herman and Eva Schondorf, and the manager, Joe Davila, of engaging in a pattern of discrimination against African Americans and families with children in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act. It alleged that black testers were subjected to different rental terms and conditions than their white counterparts. The complaint also alleged that the complex discriminated against families with children -- which has been illegal since 1989. "We must continue to vigorously fight racial discrimination in housing which too often goes undetected," said Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Deval L. Patrick. "Today's action demonstrates that the testing program is a critical tool in our effort to eradicate housing discrimination throughout the country." The Justice Department conducted its testing in conjunction with the Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley. The complaint seeks an order preventing the owners and manager of the complex from engaging in further discriminatory practices and requiring the defendants to pay damages to victims of the alleged housing discrimination. Under the Fair Housing Act, a court may also require each defendant to pay a civil penalty of up to $50,000 for the first violation and $100,000 for each subsequent violation. Individuals who believe they may have been the victims of housing discrimination at Kenwood Court Apartments, situated at 340 N. Kenwood St. in Glendale, should call the Housing Section of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department at 202-514-4713, or the Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley at 818-273-1185. Individuals who believe they have been the victims of housing discrimination at other locations should call the Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-927-9275. # # # 95-417