The U. S. Department of Justice has informed MHProNews.com that the owner and manager of Four Seasons Estates Mobile Home Park in Effingham, Illinois have been charged with violating the Fair Housing Act’s (FHA) prohibition against racial discrimination in their 126 homesite community. Owner Lorraine Wallschlaeger and manager Barbara Crubaugh, and David Crubaugh, in addition to imposing requirements on African-American prospective tenants not imposed on whites, allegedly threatened to evict a white tenant if an African-American living there did not leave. The department’s Fair Housing Testing Program sent individuals to pose as prospective tenants in order to gather information about possible discriminatory practices, which provided evidence for the lawsuit. The complaint also alleges Four Seasons does not allow families with children to live on one of the four rows in the community. The lawsuit seeks a court order prohibiting future discrimination by the defendants, monetary damages for those harmed by the defendants’ actions and a civil penalty.
When MHProNews.com checked with the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association, a source there said Four Seasons is not a member of their association, nor are any of their names in the association’s database.
MHProNews.com publisher L A Tony Kovach said, “There are a number of lessons to be learned from this. First, we publish a monthly Fair Housing column by respected attorney Nadeen Green. If more managers and owners read that column and other news items on our trade journal website, this might have been avoided. Next, as a rule association members are better informed on these issues. If you aren’t in a real, industry non-for-profit trade association, you ought to reconsider that asap.”
(Image credit: photograhersdirect.com-scale of justice)