Fair housing advocates are celebrating a victory. They recently won a settlement from a Hartford-area landlord who allegedly denied apartments to people using public assistance to pay their rent. The Connecticut Fair Housing Center claimed the landlord, Paul Rosow, discriminated against people who received disability checks and housing assistance.
Erin Kemple is the center's executive director. "The landlord in question, who owned properties in Hartford, East Hartford, and West Hartford had a policy that he would not allow someone to rent from him unless they worked. So, if someone came in and said they were going to pay the rent with their disability check or with a Section 8 voucher, because they weren't working, he would not rent to them."
Kemple says that practice makes it even harder for people with disabilities to get housing in an already tight market. "One of the things that we hope is that this will send a message both to landlords and to people who are looking for housing that discrimination based upon source of income and discrimination based upon disability is illegal."
According to the settlement, the landlord, Paul Rosow, denied all claims of discrimination But he will nevertheless pay the fair housing center $150,000, undergo fair housing training, and agree to have certain properties monitored for three years. An attorney for the landlord declined to comment.