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Community Sued for Violation of Fair Housing Act

A discrimination lawsuit has been filed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a violation of the Fair Housing Act against Whitacre’s Manufactured Housing Community in Inwood, West Virginia. A resident of the community with a psychiatric disability was injured during a home invasion and subsequently obtained an emotional-assistance dog to help decrease his anxiety and panic attacks. Whitacre management allegedly tried to evict the tenant because the dog violates their no dog rule, but that suit was dismissed because the dog is a service animal, and the Fair Housing Act allows service dogs. According to journal-news.net, the complaint states owner Jim Whitacre loudly cursed the tenant and threatened to evict him because of the animal, and then tried but failed to legally evict him. In addition, when the resident tried to make good on a bad rent check, Whitacre refused to accept the second check, despite receiving a $175 late fee, and tried to evict the family for late payment of rent. The complaint also alleges other residents who were behind several months in rent were not evicted, and that Whitacre made discriminating statements against the resident because of his disability. The HUD compliant will be heard by a U. S. Administrative law Judge. MHProNews has learned the resident is also suing Whitacre for financial compensation based upon the emotional distress caused by the discriminatory conduct.

(Photo credit: Samantha Cronk/journal-news.net)

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