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CR (202) 616-2765 TDD (202) 514-1888

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OBTAINS RECORD $425,000 SETTLEMENT AGAINST DETROIT AREA APARTMENT FOR DISCRIMINATING IN HOUSING LARGEST SETTLEMENT UNDER NATIONWIDE FAIR HOUSING TESTING PROGRAM WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In the largest rental housing discrimination settlement ever reached by the Justice Department, a suburban Detroit apartment complex today agreed to pay $425,000 for allegedly refusing to rent to African-Americans and for discriminating against families with children. The case stems from a nationwide fair housing testing program which to date has produced six suits in the Detroit metropolitan area and 19 across the country. The Detroit area cases alone have resulted in settlements totaling over $1.175 million. Under the testing program, trained pairs of black and white "testers" posing as prospective tenants inquire about available apartments. Investigators then compare results to determine whether blacks and whites were treated differently. Today's settlement, filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, resolves a suit filed in December 1992, alleging that the owners and operators of the Kings Pointe Apartments in Warren, Michigan, violated the Fair Housing Act. The suit alleges that the 170 unit complex systematically refused to rent apartments to blacks by telling blacks that vacant apartments were not available when in fact they were. "To deny someone a home because of their race is to deny someone their rightful share of the American Dream," said Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Deval L. Patrick. "This lawsuit should send a message to every housing provider throughout the state and across the country that we can and will prosecute those who discriminate in housing." The testing, conducted in part by the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit, also revealed that the complex illegally relegated families with children to one area of the complex and treated them less favorably than other residents. Since 1989, federal law has prohibited discrimination against families with children. Under the agreement, the owners and managers will pay $312,500 in damages and civil penalties and $112,500 to develop a program to further fair housing efforts in the Detroit area. The agreement also requires the defendants to institute a training program on fair housing, monitor their employees to prevent future discrimination, and advertise to locate possible victims. The Justice Department already has identified several families with children and African Americans who were victims of the discriminatory practices. Kings Pointe Apartments is managed by Bruce Polozker and his wholly owned corporation, Standard Construction Company, which is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Polozker and Standard Construction manage nine apartment complexes in the Detroit area, with a total of over 1,500 units.

Individuals who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination at the Kings Pointe Apartments, or anywhere else in the Detroit area should call the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit, at (313) 963-1274, or the Justice Department at 202-514-4713. Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of housing discrimination anywhere else in the nation should call the Justice Department or the Housing and Urban Development's Fair Housing Hotline at 1-800-669-9777. # # # 94-634