by Nadeen Green, Esquire
A look at potential post-settlement issues in fair housing cases
Fair Housing… it's the right thing to do! This is the would-be mantra for many of the fair housing instructors. But sometimes we cannot get everyone's attention just by trying to convince them that it is legally wrong (and morally wrong, of course) to make housing decisions based on the race, color, religion, national origin, sex (gender), disability or children of those who would like to live in your manufactured housing communities or those who already do. Sometimes we have to capture attention by pointing out that the consequence of unlawful housing discrimination is just plain costly (and it is, with civil penalties potentially ranging from $12,500 to $65,000 in administrative cases, and with no cap on punitive damages in civil cases) and risky (and it is, since everyone and anyone, can be held personally liable for acts of housing discrimination). "Personally liable" means one pays out of one's very own pocket, by the way. So there are many articles out there offering advice and suggestions about policies and procedures that are best practices when it comes to dealing with fair housing issues. There are also articles out there that deal with the real world administrative burdens of a complaint or lawsuit.