DFEH Settles Housing Discrimination Case Involving Greenbrae Apartment Complex
June 22, 2022
For Immediate Release
Complainant fair housing organization will receive $25,000 and the apartment complex will accept housing choice voucher holders
Sacramento – The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), resolved a housing discrimination complaint filed by Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California (FHANC) that claimed the owners of a large apartment complex in Marin County refused to rent to prospective tenants who would have used housing choice (formerly known as Section 8) vouchers to help pay their rent.
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits discrimination based on a tenant’s source of income, including use of a housing choice voucher. Yet many voucher holders, after waiting months of years to receive a voucher, then struggle to find housing because providers refuse to rent to voucher holders.
By engaging in a voluntary mediation with the DFEH’s Dispute Resolution Division, the parties resolved the complaint through a settlement agreement that requires that the apartment owners treat applicants equally regardless of their source of income; calculate any minimum income requirement based only on the amount of rent to be paid directly by a voucher holder; ensure employees attend fair housing training; and pay FHANC $25,000 in frustration of mission and counteraction damages.
“Rental housing costs throughout California have skyrocketed, making parts of the State effectively off-limits,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “By ensuring that a major housing provider in Marin County accepts housing choice vouchers, this settlement promotes housing choice and equal access.”
DFEH Senior Attorney Mediator Brandon Coen mediated the case.
DFEH’s Dispute Resolution Division provides free, voluntary mediation with experienced mediators to the parties to pending DFEH complaints. More information about DFEH mediation is available here.
CRD is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. Formerly known as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the mission of CRD is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-fund programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit calcivilrights.ca.gov.