D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced Wednesday that his office recently won four discrimination lawsuits.
Two of the suits dealt with real estate professionals, property owners and landlords who posted illegal and discriminatory advertisements against housing voucher holders online. A third consisted of a landlord who made racist statements to a potential tenant.
The fourth involved real estate companies and agents that denied a tenant’s reasonable accommodation request for a set-aside parking space for being disabled. Racine said the District government will not tolerate discrimination based on race.
“Most landlords treat tenants fairly and comply with the District’s strong anti-discrimination laws,” the attorney general said. “But when housing providers discriminate based on race, disability, or voucher status, my office will take action. These four cases demonstrate my office’s commitment to protecting our most vulnerable residents. When we see wrongdoing, we will file suit—and win those cases—to ensure that bad actors are held accountable.”
The District’s Human Rights Act outlaws discrimination based on 21 traits including race, color, creed, gender, and sexual orientation. The law prohibits housing discrimination based on income source, also.
Because of these lawsuits, the defendants must pay civil penalties and fees to the city for over $360,000, expand access to affordable housing and train their staff on preventing discrimination.