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HUD charges Bucks County property managers with housing discrimination

by Kim Shindle on

Pennsylvania property owners and their Bucks County management company were charged with housing discrimination by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) this week.

According to HUD, managers and owners Quality Realty Associates (QRA) and Vincent Quattrocchi, and owners Louis Quattrocchi and Cecilia Quattrocchi, allegedly violated the Fair Housing Act by turning away a single mother because they did not permit children to live at their 26 apartment units. None of the Quattrocchis nor Quality Realty Associates appear to be REALTORS® or licensed by the PA Real Estate Commission.

HUD alleges that after the Pennsylvania woman inquired about an apartment managed by QRA, Vincent Quattrocchi told her no children were allowed to reside in the apartment complex. Without other housing options, the mother and daughter eventually moved into a local shelter and were separated while the mother continued to search for an apartment.

Hank Lerner, Esq., PAR director of Member and Legal Services, said, “REALTORS® need to keep in mind that while race and disability are the protected classes most people think of, there are other protected classes under the Fair Housing Act and families with children are an example.”

HUD Public Affairs Specialist Shantae Goodloe in Washington, D.C. said the department receives about 10,000 complaints annually. “Forty-four percent are disability-related, 31 percent are race-related and 20 percent are for family status. They’re our top three fair housing complaints,” Goodloe told JustListed. “Education and outreach are important to making people aware of Fair Housing laws.”

HUD reported that after receiving the woman’s complaint regarding the rental property, the Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia, also a complainant in the case, sent four testers to inquire about vacant apartments. All were told that no children were allowed to reside in the apartments that QRA managed. During HUD’s investigation, owner Louis Quattrocchi allegedly admitted that in the 30 to 40 years he has owned the properties he has never rented to families with children. Currently no families live at the properties.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. It is illegal to deny housing to families with children under 18 years of age unless the housing qualifies as “housing for older persons.”

Consumers who believe they are victims of housing discrimination can file a complaint with the PA Human Relations Commission within 180 days of the alleged act. If the allegations are covered under the federal laws, PHRC will file the complaint with the appropriate federal agency. Consumers can also contact HUD directly at 800-669-9777 (voice), 800-927-9275 (TTY).

Topics

HUD Discrimination Federal Fair Housing Act U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
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Comments (2)

Comments

  • Victoria M. Lowry, CPM, Green, AHWD    August 12, 2010 | 8:43 am

    I am curious to see how this plays out. It is hard to believe this is still going on today. I really want to hear the ‘rest of the story’.

    Reply to Victoria M. Lowry, CPM, Green, AHWD
  • Harry R. McCarty    August 12, 2010 | 4:28 pm

    To be a Member and Past President of the Bucks County Association of Realtors has really been and is presently a wonderful opportunity. I am of the opinion that most all Bucks County Association Members have a good understanding of cultural diversity and the fair housing laws. We as members are fortunate to have a such a Great Association. Jane Forth at the helm and other past AE’s objectives is to be Professional and that is stated in our stragetic plan. To be well informed with the industry is a must!

    Reply to Harry R. McCarty

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