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Settlement Reached In Michigan Housing Discrimination Case

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Federal officials say they've reached an agreement with owners and operators of seven Michigan apartment complexes to resolve allegations that they discriminated against families with children.

The Justice Department and the U.S. attorney's offices in Detroit and Grand Rapids announced the agreement on Thursday. It requires court approval and includes a settlement fund of $20,000 for victims and $5,000 in civil penalties paid to the government.

A federal lawsuit filed last year alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act in Lansing, East Lansing and other Lansing-area communities. It said that the rental manager and owners prohibited families with children from renting one-bedroom units in the apartment complexes.

The case came after the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan sent people to ask about rentals. Testers who said that they wanted to rent an apartment with their child were told that children were not allowed in one-bedroom units. The Fair Housing Center filed a lawsuit, which was resolved separately.

Complexes included in the suit are: Parkside East Apartments in East Lansing; Holt Manor Apartments and C and H Apartments in Holt; Kelly Manor Apartments in Owosso; Camelot Apartments in Lansing; Pine Cove Apartments in DeWitt; and Park Place Apartments in Williamston. The agreement also requires that defendants inform tenants of their new nondiscriminatory policies and provide training on the Fair Housing Act to their staff and agents.

"Adequate housing is a fundamental need for families and equal access to that housing must be protected," U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles Jr. said in a statement. "Our ongoing actions to enforce the Fair Housing Act provide that protection."

This case was handled jointly by the Civil Rights Division's Housing and Civil Enforcement Section and the U.S. Attorneys' Offices of the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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