Three property owners in Atlanta agreed to pay thousands of dollars in order to settle allegations of racial discrimination from the Department of Justice.

Crimson Management LLC, Benefield Housing Partnership, and Cedartown Housing Associates will pay $83,000 to three individuals who formerly resided in their housing complex for potential violations of the Fair Housing Act, in addition to a civil penalty to the government.

According to the DOJ, the companies allegedly “steered Black housing applicants who are elderly or have a disability away from Cedarwood Village, a predominantly white housing complex, to Cedartown Commons, a housing complex that is inferior in appearance, location and amenities to Cedarwood Village.”

Furthermore, the lawsuit contended that Cedartown Commons, which houses predominately African-American residents, maintained worse living conditions than those of white residents.

“Access to housing opportunities remains unequal for African-American housing applicants all too often,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “My office will continue to devote resources to eradicate this injustice and we will continue to hold housing providers accountable for racial discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act.”

In addition to the money, the companies must add policies to prevent similar instances in the future and complete “fair-housing training.” Periodic reports will be sent to the Justice Department to update the progress.

“It is unacceptable that race discrimination in housing persists in our nation more than a half-century after President Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law,” added Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This Justice Department is committed to vigorously enforcing our civil rights laws by holding housing providers responsible when they perpetuate racial segregation or otherwise engage in prohibited discrimination.”

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Georgia House for Sale” by paulbr75.