Fla. Landlord Pays $45K for Fair Housing Issue
Under a HUD consent order, a Fla. RV park owner will pay $45K and boost fair housing efforts after asking a transgender tenant to hide the transition in public areas.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) entered into a Consent Order with the owner of 21 RV Palms Resort, Davenport, Florida, RV park and its property manager, Nathan Dykgraaf. HUD posted the consent order online.
HUD says it resolves allegations of gender identity discrimination under the Fair Housing Act.
According to HUD, the Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from discriminating on the basis of sex, which includes prohibiting tenants from expressing their gender. HUD’s investigation took place after a transgender tenant filed a complaint.
The charge alleged that Dykgraaf violated the Fair Housing Act when he gave the tenant a letter stating that he was aware she was transitioning and telling her to act as a man, talk as a man, and dress as a man to avoid trouble, notably in public areas.
“Housing providers have no place restricting a transgender resident’s expression of their gender identity,” says HUD Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Demetria L. McCain. “As HUD’s Charge and Consent Order make clear, HUD will vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act to protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals and ensure housing providers do not fail to meet their fair housing obligations.”
The Consent Order, approved by a HUD Administrative Law Judge, requires 21 RV Palms Resort and Dykgraaf to pay the tenant and her family $45,000 in damages. 21 RV Palms Resort and Dykgraaf are also barred from future discrimination and will undergo training on the Fair Housing Act, including training on transgender and gender non-conforming discrimination.
The Consent Order does not constitute an admission of liability by 21 RV Palms Resort or Dykgraaf.
“HUD will take action to seek redress for victims of such discrimination,” says HUD General Counsel Damon Smith.
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