LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire –
~ Policies limiting occupancy may violate Fair Housing Act ~
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that his office has issued a series of civil rights subpoenas to the Cornerstone Group and several of its apartment complexes in South Florida, seeking to determine if the company is discriminating against families with children, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
“Any allegations of civil rights violations will be thoroughly investigated. Discrimination will simply not be tolerated in this state,”
said Attorney General Bill McCollum. “My office is committed to protecting families and children from being singled out or victimized.”
The Attorney General’s Civil Right Unit is requesting company occupancy standards that address the number of persons permitted to eside in Cornerstone apartments. A typical guideline under fair housing regulations is two persons per bedroom. Cornerstone is allegedly limiting occupancy so that, for example, a family of four with two adults and two children may not reside in a two-bedroom apartment. Relief for violations of the Florida Fair Housing Act includes injunctive and other equitable relief, actual and punitive damages and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.
In addition to the information sought by the subpoenas, the Office of Civil Rights encourages anyone who believes he or she may have been discriminated against in seeking housing at a Cornerstone property to contact the Attorney General’s Office at 954-712-4607.
Cornerstone is ranked by the National Association of Homebuilders as the 10th largest multifamily developer in the United States and the fifth largest in Florida. It operates throughout Florida and specializes in affordable, low income rental housing. The company has faced similar allegations of familial status discrimination in the recent past.