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“Don’t Mess With the Virgin,” Heated Fair Housing Manufactured Home Community Controversy Comes to Conclusion

March 21st, 2019 Comments off

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It was an issue that began to attract attention close to a year ago.  A controversy erupted between a pre-HUD Code mobile home resident and her resident owned community (ROC). The controversy raised freedom of religious expression and thus fair housing, and other legal issues.  So, it caught fire for months with mainstream news media across, Florida. It spread to numerous media markets, religious websites, and then to other places in the U.S.

 

The hullabaloo between Millie Francis, her commissioned painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the Bradenton Tropical Palms resident owned community (ROC) achieved its media zenith when the Drudge Report picked it up and linked it.  Because of that platform’s enormous audience, it literally made the issue a global one. A prior report on the issue that summarizes the events and controversies, is linked below.

 

Puzzling Case of Millie Francis, Where are Religious Liberty, Fair Housing, Resident, and Manufactured Home Organizational Defenders?

 

Mark Young at the Bradenton Herald did the bulk of the mainstream coverage of this topic.  Young’s latest – and likely final report – on this topic is linked here.

Please be advised that I am in the process of finalizing an acceptable settlement to the referenced matter and do not anticipate having to participate in arbitration,” said a letter signed by signed by Mildred “Millie” Francis that was dated March 8, 2019 and sent to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. That agency oversees arbitration cases for the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes. “It is my understanding that you have received a similar notice from Knox Levine,” said Francis in the document.

The letter was obtained by MHProNews from a source other than Francis, and is linked as a download, here.

Francis concludes her letter to the state agency with, “I’m quite pleased with the outcome.”

 

MarkYoungPhotoBradentonHeraldUrbanAffairsReporterLinkedInDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsYoung said for the Bradenton Herald that, “Attorney Bryan Levine, of Knox Levine, represented the [Bradenton] Tropical Palms …board of directors in trying to force 85-year-old Millie Francis, a devout Catholic, to remove the painting. Levine declined to answer whether a gag order was preventing comment about a possible deal.”

While Francis has not spoken to the Bradenton Herald since a settlement was proposed, she had previously said she planned on putting up an awning from the beginning of the controversy,” wrong Young earlier today.

 

Association Advocacy to Resolve the Issues?

MHProNews asked the Herald after their report was published, if any manufactured home association was known to have contacted their publication or any of the parties?  MHAction and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) were among those specifically mentioned in the inquiry.  The paper said that no such contact was made to their knowledge.

Francis had previously informed MHLivingNews – prior to going quiet as the approaching agreement developed – the same thing.  No association or advocacy group had contacted her.

But Francis has significant levels of media contacts, and from the public at large.

That’s yet another example of a resident – in this case, a ROC shareholder – and the industry’s general reputation failed to earn any defense from the purported guardians of such post-production issues. It is an open question how much harm months of negative headlines may have created for home owners and the industry.

 

Don’t Mess with the Virgin

Days prior to what is an apparently confidential settlement agreement, Millie Francis told MHLivingNews, “Don’t mess with the Virgin,” L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach told the Herald, a colorful statement that is a signature part of the feisty senior’s persona, quoted in their report. “Mrs. Francis did not go into details or elaborate on the meaning of the statement when I called her,” Kovach explained to the Herald.

The Bradenton newspaper described him as L.A. “Tony” Kovach, a manufactured home expert with 25 years in the industry and publisher of two trade publications,” who “has been following the issue closely.”

The saga began about a year ago, “when Francis wanted to replace her front window because security personnel were shining flashlights into her home late at night. Francis received permission to do the work and after replacing the window was inspired while at church to commission an artist to paint Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of Mary’s many titles, on the space.”

By early November, for months, the community’s manager “tried to force Francis to take the painting down, to which she replied, “They’ll have to kill me first,” wrote Young.

By January, community Tampa attorneys Knox and Levine had filed paperwork with the state that announced that Francis “has been sued in this proceeding.” Francis remained defiant, relying on her faith, prayer, and outside help from individuals in other states who had read about the matter.  One of them voluntarily took the lead and began to mediate the case on Francis’ behalf, which has now apparently been resolved.

In such disputes between residents and management, it is common for the parties to agree to a non-disclosure to settle a case,” Kovach told the Herald.Certainly, the Bradenton Tropical Palms, Vanguard, and Knox and Levine wanted this to go away quietly. There were too many problematic issues that pointed back to their management’s handling — or purported mishandling — of the matter with Mrs. Francis from the start.”

Kovach said it was a victory for not just Francis, but for other residents who may face overreach from an overly aggressive manager, who for whatever reason, might be tempted to over-reach their authority. That wasn’t a good look for the industry, especially to prospective community residents and manufactured home buyers.

It also puts a sad chapter to rest with what appears to be as happy an ending for all involved as possible,” Kovach said to the Herald. “Those who negotiated this should feel good about their efforts. For almost a year, this off-and-on dominated the news, including links from the Drudge Report, which made it a global issue.”

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Millie Francis informed MHLivingNews months ago that the awning was part of her original plan. While an apparent non-disclosure agreement keeps the parties from confirming or denying the details, that awning and Francis’ letter to the state suggest that she obtained what she wanted in the first place. The bottom line? Months of heat, and Francis’ commissioned painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe were preserved. No doubt comments from Nadeen Green, JD, and community owner Brian Gallagher, were useful parts of the settlement mix. Finally, Francis stated desire that ‘the virgin become better known’ has come to pass in a most unique way. 

 

Lessons Learned?

There are numerous possible takeaways from this episode.

  • One is that a mishandled matter can become problematic news.  That in turn can hurt the interests of residents, industry members, and the home buying public that may get turned off before they get turned on.
  • Another is that thoughtful intervention can help bring a matter to a positive closure. Based upon Francis’ letter, and a photo from the Herald, the indications are that the ROC shareholder apparently obtained what she wanted to accomplish.
  • The power of the media to influence events can’t be overlooked.  Weeks prior to the incident’s conclusion, messages tied to the community and their attorneys indicated that they felt the heat, and wanted to find a solution that didn’t make the matter worse. No doubt the Drudge Report’s linking of the topic raised the pressure on the community, management company, and their attorneys to a high level.

Finally, the issue could have potentially be solved weeks if not months earlier, had industry third parties gotten involved, in an attempt to lower the temperature and find a solution.

For a next step for those who want to see positive post-production engagement on issues that harm the industry’s image  see the linked, related reports below the byline and notices. That’s tonight’s “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

 

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Cha-Ching! Manufactured Housing Made Simple in 2019

MH Black Eye, or Opportunity in Disguise? Vexing Saga of Millie Francis’ Faith Based Art, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC, Vanguard Management, Knox and Levine

Fix MH Industry Trick$ – Special Meeting at Tunica Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discrimination!? Ethnic, Racial Bias by Manufactured Home Community Investigated – Investors and Community Owner Alert

February 21st, 2019 Comments off

Discrimination!EthnicRacialBiasByManufacturedHomeCommunityInvestigatedInvestorsCommunityOwnerAlertDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Keenya Robertson is a fair housing advocate and the President of Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence (HOPE).  She said “Something is not right,” per Yahoo News.

 

People are being treated differently because they are from a different country.  That is a violation of the Fair Housing Act,” Robertson said, according to Local 10 News.

 

 

It’s an issue that may not seem to some to be discriminatory, at first glance.  But as one digs deeper, because a country of national origin is involved, it would be an apparent violation of the Fair Housing Act.  The racial composition of those nations may also be perceived as a factor.

MHCSuedAccusedofHousingDiscriminationByDepartmentofJusticeNadeenGreen-jd-for-rent-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews

Nadeem Green, JD, Fair Housing attorney, author, instructor, now retired.

As years of articles published here on MHProNews by attorney Nadeen Green, JD – the “Fair Housing Lady” – advised manufactured home industry professional readers, the protected classes include: “Race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin,” as the National Association of Realtors™ (NAR) also states.

 

Lakeside Park Estates

In order to become a part of Lakeside Park Estates, a 55-and-older community of mostly Canadians who come to Florida for the winter, a member must first fill out a rental application,” said Yahoo News’ report. “The first page of the application lists what applicants would be charged based on their background. U.S. residents are charged $50, and from there, the prices go up significantly. The highest application fee listed is for natives of Colombia, who are listed as being charged $175 per adult for an application.”

Lakeside Park Estates is owned by Trinity Broadcasting Network, as the sign in the photo below reflects.  It is located just west of Interstate 95 on Pembroke Road in Pembroke Park, in Hollywood, Florida, explained the narrative by Local 10 News.

The property is a 55-and-older community reportedly made up of so-called ‘snow-birds’ who are mostly of Canadians, who winter in Florida.

 

LakesideparkEstatesHollywoodFlDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The first page of the Lakeside Park Estates application spells out what you’ll be charged to process their application.  That document states that a U.S. resident would pay $50.  But a Colombian would pay $175 per person.

 

ApplicationFeesDiscriminatoryUnequalTreatmentLakesideParkEstatesTrinityBroadcastingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Robertson has been a fair housing advocate for approaching a quarter of a century, and she said, “I have never seen anything like it.”

Equality under the law means just that, say the experts.  Investors? Manufactured home community owner/operators?  Is a property you are involved in committing some blatant or subtle form of discrimination?  Bear in mind the related report, below the by line, which will be updated with a planned follow up soon. Stay tuned.

 

MH Industry Pro Takeaways?

In the meantime, it can be less costly to double check your paperwork and procedures, than it is to face litigation with individuals, fair housing advocates, state agencies, or the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Bear in mind that in some states there are additional protected classes, as Green has previously said.

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Related Reports:

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Puzzling Case of Millie Francis, Where are Religious Liberty, Fair Housing, Resident, and Manufactured Home Organizational Defenders?

 

Arrested! Attorney General Files Charges on Manufactured and Modular Home Retailer, Police Arrest Suspect

“Appalled” said David McCarthy – HUD Cites “Substandard Conditions,” But How Many Multi-Million Opportunities for Investors and Manufactured Housing Pro?

 

21st Mortgage Suit’s CFPB Denial, Exclusive Document on Berkshire Hathaway Manufactured Housing Brands Investigation

Thorns and Roses In Manufactured Home Community Controversy

 

MH Black Eye, or Opportunity in Disguise? Vexing Saga of Millie Francis’ Faith Based Art, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC, Vanguard Management, Knox and Levine

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Sexual Predators” Beware! MH Community Owners! Retailers Warning – New Federal Sexual Harassment Initiative

April 13th, 2018 Comments off

SexualPredatorsBewareMHCommunityOwnersRetailersWarningNewFedSexualHarrassmentLionLittleGirlDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Behind every good intention can be unintentional consequences. Behind every real problem, abuses of the system can occur.

 

What some might consider to be an innocent flirt, what if an applicant or resident might view it as sexual harassment?

Thus everyone should be aware of a new initiative between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which could bring a world of hurt to Manufactured Home Community (MHC) owners, or perhaps even to manufactured home retailers too.

Obviously, there are genuine cases of sexual harassment – or other violations of the Fair Housing Act – which merit the kind of response that the federal government has just announced.

 

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HUD and DOJ Announce National Program 

In a release to the Daily Business News, HUD and the DOJ have announced nationwide plans to combat sexual harassment.

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Dr. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, official photo.

All discrimination stains the very fabric of our nation, but HUD is especially focused on protecting the right of everyone to feel safe and secure in their homes, free from unwanted sexual harassment,” said HUD  Secretary Ben Carson. “No person should have to tolerate unwanted sexual advances in order to keep a roof over his or her head. Part of our mission at HUD is to provide safe housing and we will remain diligent in this mission to protect those we serve. I look forward to working with Attorney General Sessions and the Department of Justice as part of this task force to bring an end to this type of discrimination.”

AttorneyGeneralJeffSessionsDepartmentOfJusticeOfficialPhotoWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, photo credit, Wikipedia.

Sexual harassment in housing is illegal, immoral, and unacceptable,” said Attorney General Sessions.

It is all too common today, as too many landlords, managers, and their employees attempt to prey on vulnerable women. We will not hesitate to pursue these predators and enforce the law. In October, I ordered a new initiative to bring more of these cases, and we have already won relief for 15 victims. Today we announce three new steps to make the initiative more effective and to win more cases. I want to thank the dedicated and committed professionals in our Civil Rights Division and our partners in the Department of Housing and Urban Development for their hard work in this effort. We will continue to aggressively pursue harassers, because everyone has a right to be safe in their home, Sessions stated.

A pilot program was already launched in various places in the U.S.

White it’s announced focus is rental property, retailers or others who engage the home seeking public should realize that this initiative could become part of this effort too.

Per HUD’s release to MHProNews,In October 2017, the Justice Department announced an initiative to combat sexual harassment in housing and launched pilot programs in D.C. and the Western District of Virginia. The initiative sought to increase the Department’s efforts to protect women from harassment by landlords, property managers, maintenance workers, security guards, and other employees and representatives of rental property owners.”

During these pilots, “the Department developed and tested ways to better connect both with victims of sexual harassment in housing and with those organizations that victims may turn to first for help – including law enforcement, legal services providers, public housing authorities, sexual assault services providers, and shelters.  The Department also tested certain aspects of the initiative in other jurisdictions, including New Jersey, the Central District of California, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Michigan.”

Two examples of fair housing cases involving manufactured housing in recent years are posted below.

 

VA MH Community Charged with Violating the Fair Housing Law

 

More Complaints Followed HUD, DOJ Pilot Campaign

These pilots created an “upswing” in legal complai9nts.

The two pilot programs generated an upswing in harassment reporting to the Department from both D.C. and the Western District of Virginia. In D.C., the Department generated six leads since the October 2017 launch. In Virginia, the Department generated three leads. While the Justice Department recognizes that leads and investigations do not always lead to enforcement actions, the pilot program’s results—when extrapolated across all the U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country—could lead to hundreds of new reports of sexual harassment in housing across the country.”

Because of what they called “promising results,” the  HUD is rolling out three major components to the initiative. Per their statement, the following.

First, the new HUD-DOJ Task Force to Combat Sexual Harassment in Housing will drive a shared strategy between the Department and HUD for combatting sexual harassment in housing across the country. It will focus on five key areas: continued data sharing and analysis, joint development of training, evaluation of public housing complaint mechanisms, coordination of public outreach and press strategy, and review of federal policies.

Second, the outreach toolkit is designed to leverage the HUD and Justice Department’s nationwide network of U.S. Attorney’s Offices. The toolkit provides templates, guidance, and checklists based on pilot program feedback. It ultimately will amplify available enforcement resources and help victims of sexual harassment connect with the Department.

Third, the public awareness campaign has three major components: a partnership package with relevant stakeholders, launch of a social media campaign, and Public Service Announcements (PSAs) run by the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys. The campaign is specifically designed to raise awareness, and make it easier for victims all over the country to find resources and report harassment.”

Federal HUD Fair Housing Discrimination Complaint Case Update 

 

Owners and Professionals, Knowledge and Fairness Are Power

Nadeen-Green-For-Rent-Media-Solutions-

Nadeen Green, JD.

MHProNews published years of articles by an attorney who specialized in the field, “The Fair Housing Lady,” Nadeen Green, J.D.

Neither MHProNews – nor writers for this publication – are your attorney.  Nor are we giving legal advice per se, but rather are providing awareness of the issues and related news.

That said, common sense says that honesty and an understanding of both legitimate risks and possible abuses of the system should all be on the minds of professionals and owners.

As several past reports in the Daily Business News have noted, manufactured home communities have periodically been caught up in Fair Housing cases. The examples linked above are just 2 of many.

Anyone selling to, or dealing directly with the public in housing ought to be aware of the law, and apply the rules of decency and good sense.

That could start as simply as following the words of Jesus of Nazareth, “Do unto others as you would have others do to you.”  (Mt 7:12, Luke 6:31).  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Are the Blind, Leading Legally? Ruling on Websites, ADA Puts MH Businesses on Notice

June 29th, 2017 Comments off
AreBlindLeadingADARulingMayImpactMHBusinessesWebsitesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage credit, MHProNews.com.

That a wide array of private businesses are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is not a surprise to thousands of manufactured housing industry professionals from coast to coast.

As recently as this month, Fair Housing attorney – Nadeen Green, JD – has published on the subject of accommodations for service animals and the ADA.

But in this recent court ruling, a federal judge in Florida ruled that a business – grocer Winn-Dixie – “must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because the website is “heavily integrated” with the store’s physical location,” the Ballard Sphar Accessibility [Law] Group (BSAG), tells MHProNews.

BallardSpahrAccessibilityLawGroupManufacturedHousingIndustryReportsResearchDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Photo credits, BSAG, shown under fair use guidelines.

The legal brief said in part, “This case is notable because it is one of the first, if only, Title III ADA website accessibility cases to go to trial.”

CliffDavisHomesADACompatabilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Photo credit, Cliff Davis Homes. See next caption and commentary below.

Title III of the ADA, which applies only to private entities, prohibits places of “public accommodation” from discriminating in the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, and facilities on the basis of an individual’s disability. Drafted in 1990 before the internet boom, the ADA lists 11 categories of physical locations that fall under its purview,” Ballard Sphar said.

In Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., the plaintiff alleged that the Winn-Dixie website was inaccessible to blind individuals like him,” said BSAG. “Specifically, he alleged that the inaccessibility of the website prevented him from enjoying features of the website such as accessing digital coupons, using the online pharmacy, and finding store locations.”

BSAG elaborated by saying that “The judge found that the online content, including digital coupons, pharmacy, and store locator feature, were sufficiently connected to the physical stores such that the plaintiff was denied the full and equal enjoyment of Winn Dixie’s goods and services.”

The court ordered an injunction, requiring the parties to confer on a timeline for making the website accessible in conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 criteria, an international standard for making internet content accessible,” the legal group said.

The legal precedent could be far reaching.

ADACompliantRampsManufacturedHomeTheBuildingInspectorDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Does your business have to accommodate the public with a handicap accessible ramp? If so, then that or other scenarios may suggest that this new legal ruling may apply to your location(s). Photo credit, the Building Inspector.

MH Industry Impact?

Among the sources that tipped the Daily Business News to this issue is an industry attorney, who does not specialize in such matters, but felt that it could in fact be applied to a variety of businesses in the manufactured home industry that involves public access that falls under the ADA.  Such businesses would be well advised to see how this applies to them, and if their websites’ ought to meet under the ADA – “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 criteria.”  ##

(News, notice as with any news story that involves the law, no legal advice is being given. Rather, industry professionals that deal with the public in a physical location ought to consider if and how the ramifications for such a case may or may not impact their business.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

 

Manufactured Home Community Sued, Accused of Housing Discrimination By Department of Justice

October 6th, 2016 Comments off
MHCSuedAccusedofHousingDiscriminationByDepartmentofJustice-Creditcentralflequities-postedtoDailybusinessnews.jpg

May Grove manufactured home community entrance. Credit: Central FL Equities.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against May Grove Village Manufactured Home Community based in Lakeland Florida, alleging that employees actively worked to keep African-Americans out.

Managers falsely told African-Americans that no mobile homes, (sic) or fewer mobile homes, (sic) were immediately available for sale, but told similarly situated white persons that more mobile homes were available, (sic)” the DOJ said in a release. “Managers also quoted prospective African-American purchasers higher prices and worse financial terms than similarly situated white purchasers. 

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DOJ Logo

According to the lawsuit obtained by the Daily Business News, between July and November 2015, undercover investigators with the DOJ Fair Housing Testing Program posed as buyers at May Grove Village and found that preference was being given to white buyers.

MHProNews readers are aware that use of the Fair Housing Testing Program has been on the increase, including in a settlement by Effingham Illinois based Four Seasons Estates last year.

MHCSuedAccusedofHousingDiscriminationByDepartmentofJusticeNadeenGreen-jd-for-rent-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews

Nadeen Green, JD.

In an MHProNews column, attorney Nadeen Green, JD, shared that while attending the John Marshall Law School annual conference on fair housing that “the audience, particularly those involved with Fair Housing Assistance Programs (FHAPs), were chastised for not aggressively seeking emotional damages in their fair housing cases.

 

 

Green went on to share that “agencies and attorneys were coaching attendees to aggressively seek emotional damages in their fair housing cases,” and, that “the denial of housing or housing rights does not only mean that someone does not get to live in their housing of choice.

Green, referencing information shared during the conference, continued. “It can also mean that they are angry, hurt, shamed, discouraged, and perhaps facing consequences that could be life defining, such as their child not being able to attend the good public school in that area. 

In the May Grove Village case, Bay News 9 spoke with community residents who were surprised by the allegations.

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May Grove Village Manufactured Home Community, Lakeland, FL

It would be very shocking if there were any truth to it,” said resident Chuck Baggett. “Because of all the other people we have had in here.

I was surprised because it is the first time I hear that,” said long-time resident Ana Ocasio.

According to Bay News 9, other residents said that African-Americans had been regular community residents over the years.

May Grove owner James C. Goss and park managers Cathy Plante and Joey Gwozdz are named as defendants in the suit. The Daily Business News was unable to reach parties for additional insights or comments.

The lawsuit asks for a jury trial and monetary compensation for anyone turned away due to their race. ##

(Image credits are as shown.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

 

 

 

Justice Strikes Again – another Manufactured Home Operation Settles Case

September 23rd, 2015 Comments off

fines-manufacturedhomes-OriginalgraphicCredit-SFgate-modifiedbyMHProNews-DailyBusinessNews-The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Hope Fair Housing tell MHProNews that the DOJ has announced “that the owners and operators of the Williams Trailer Court mobile home park in Marion, Illinois, had agreed to pay $75,000 to settle allegations that they discriminated against African Americans and families with children, in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act.”

The settlement was approved on August 31, by the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

The settlement agreement resolves a lawsuit alleging that the owners and operators of the park, located at 200 East Patrick Street in Marion, Illinois violated fair housing law.  Testing revealed that Williams unlawfully discouraged families with children from living there, as well as allegations of racial discrimination.  “In addition to Lyle Williams, the lawsuit also names as defendants the park’s other two owners, Kyle Williams and David Williams,” according to the DOJ release to MHProNews.

It is both shocking and sad that in this day and age any person would try to discriminate against a fellow citizen on the basis of race,” said U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton of the Southern District of Illinois.  “Neither the Department of Justice nor my office will tolerate such behavior.  Opportunity and justice must remain equal for all.”

The consent decree for this case is found at this link, here.

Justice recently settled another case for over $250,000 – reported earlier this week at this link here. Attorney Anne Houghtaling, the Executive Director of Hope Fair Housing, has agreed to provide the Daily Business News with additional commentary on this case and others in the next few days. ##

(Editor’s Note: Manufactured housing professionals are encouraged to read a Fair Housing basics article, found at this link here, As case law is ever-evolving, it is also prudent to read the monthly Fair Housing article written by Fair Housing attorney Nadeen Green, a recent one on disparate impact is linked here.)

(Original image credits: SFGate, FlickrCreative Commons/Ari Karen; modified by MHProNews.)

Sunday Morning Recap May 11-May 16, 2015

May 17th, 2015 Comments off

Sunday_morning_recapROC USA notches 113th Co-op. MHC Owners Honors Industry Members. RV/MH Chooses 2015 Class. Deer Valley Plummets. Rising Rents makes MH Living more Feasible. World Expo Modular. New MHC Approved. CDBG not for MH. England Modulars. Sen. Shelby proposes MH Access. Habitat Modular in New Jersey. Nadeen Green Honored. Aussie MHC Owner issues IPO. Mods Proposed for Canuck Seniors. Mortgage Credit Rises. TV Shows Modular Mfg. to Siting. Native Americans get Mortgage Assist. Fannie Mae Refis MHC. Bill Bristles MH Industry. FHFA Expands Multifamily Coverage. Scots Check out Modulars. MH Siting Yields to RVs. AZ MHC Sold. MHC Property Tax Lowered. Court Upholds MHC Rights.

Monday, May 11

Manufactured Home Community Becomes 113th Co-op in New Hampshire

Manufactured Home Community Owners Group to Bestow Awards, Discuss Issues

RV/MH Hall of Fame Class of 2015 Announced

Deer Valley Plummets 46.15 Percent; MHCV Falls 1.85 Percent

Rents are Rising—Manufactured Home Living more Reasonable than Ever

Tuesday, May 12

Modular Apartment Complex from Expo 67

New Manufactured Home Community Approved

CDBG Funding Disallows Manufactured Home Repair; Local Initiative Needed

MHCV, Most Tracked Manufactured Housing Stocks Decline

Modular Homes in England Targeted to Young Adults

Senator Richard Shelby Offers Bill to Improve Access to Financing Manufactured Homes

Wednesday, May 13

Habitat for Humanity Building Modular in New Jersey

Fair Housing Attorney Honored for Children’s Housing Accessibility Book

Australian Manufactured Home Community Owner Issues IPO

MHCV Slips Fourth Straight Trading Day

Affordable Modular Housing for Seniors Possible in British Columbia

Mortgage Credit Rises, but Remains Well Below the 2006 Peak

Thursday, May 14

TV Show will Document Production and Siting of Modular Home

Bluffton Adds Modulars to Build Program

Tribal Member Qualifies for Mortgage on Modular Home

Most Tracked Manufactured Housing Stocks Rise, including the MHCV

Manufactured Home Community Refinanced by Fannie Mae

Manufactured Housing Industry Objects to Ohio Legislation

Friday, May 15

FHFA Stretches Multifamily Affordable Housing Lending Categories

Scotland Considering Modular Homes for Health Workers

Manufactured Home Siting Approved, but Owners Yield to Residents’ Suggestions

Arizona Manufactured Home Community Sold

S&P 500 Sets New High; MHCV Nudges Up

Property Tax Rolled Back in Manufactured Home Community

Saturday, May 16

Manufactured Home Community has Right to Re-rent Homesites ##

(Photo credit: MHProNews)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Fair Housing Attorney Honored for Children’s Housing Accessibility Book

May 13th, 2015 Comments off

Nadeen-Green-For-Rent-Media-Solutions-Nadeen Green, a For Rent Media Solutions’™ (FRMS) legal counsel, is a Fair Housing attorney who has taught Fair Housing Law to the multifamily housing industry since the Fair Housing Amendments Act went into effect in 1989.

She is also education director for a small non-profit called International Fund for Economic Development (IFED) which promotes economic self-sufficiency among developing communities around the world, according to forrent. Projects with this organization include providing supplies to an orphanage in China, a nutrition program in Cambodia, and providing computers and the electricity to operate them in 19 Peruvian Andes villages.

Termed the Fair Housing Lady, she deals regularly with housing design accessibility issues as well as Fair Housing issues in general. Recently she teamed with Eleanor Smith, a wheelchair user and the inspiration for the visitability movement, which advocates for changes to single-family homes to make them more wheelchair accessible, to write a children’s book, Libby and The Cape of Visitability.

Nadeed was honored by the Cobb County (GA) Commission and the Cobb Community Relations Council at the Cobb County 5th Annual Creating Community Awards Banquet, for her work on Libby. When asked about her work, she stated, “Much of my work with FRMS is fair housing based, and the travel to other countries and the time spent with those facing mobility challenges and obstacles has broadened my world view. I can more appreciate the diversity in our own country and can draw on personal experiences when I teach and advocate within the multifamily housing industry.

Nadeen Green is a contributor to the MHProNews website. ##

(Photo credit: For Rent Media Solutions–Nadeen Green)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

 

Justice Hits MHC with Fair Housing Complaint

February 7th, 2014 Comments off

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)