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AG Settles Housing Discrimination Cases In Boston, Canton, Ashland, Wellesley

BOSTON (CBS) - The office of Attorney General Maura Healey settled four cases against real estate companies, earlier this month, alleging they refused to rent to recipients of federal housing assistance known as Section 8.

The alleged incidents took place in Ashland, Canton, Boston, and Wellesley.

"Ensuring access to safe and affordable housing for all of our residents has always been one of the biggest priorities of my office," Healey wrote in a statement.

WBZ-TV spoke with Jan, who says her loved one is an alleged victim in one of the cases. Jan said she and her family want to remain anonymous out of fear of future discrimination.

"It's something I haven't been able to get away from, even today," she said.

In 2019, Jan said she was seeking an apartment for her loved one in Ashland. She asked the realtor if the landlord would have a problem with renting to Section 8 tenants.

"And he said, oh absolutely he'd have a problem with Section 8," she said.

Later, Jan says that another unit in the same building, listed by another agent became available. She claims that agent told her that the landlord accepted Section 8 and her loved one subsequently lived in the unit. She says she reported the incident to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination which investigated.

WBZ-TV caught up with Bill Gath, realtor for Realty Executives Boston West. Gath is the broker Jan accuses of discriminating against her family.

Gath strongly denies the accusation.

"I would never, ever," Gath said.

Realty Executives Boston West settled with the Attorney General's Office for $15,000 dollars. Jan hopes to use some of that money to buy a home.

"So that we don't have to keep going up against discrimination after discrimination over and over again. It's just pervasive," she said.

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