DC attorney general files 3 lawsuits aimed at housing discrimination

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 26: A for rent sign advertising a row house in northeast Capitol Hill, is pictured on Monday, August 26, 2019, in Washington D.C. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)(CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag/Tom Williams)
D.C.’s Office of the Attorney General has filed three lawsuits aimed at protecting residents from housing discrimination.

One lawsuit accused a Northwest D.C. landlord of refusing to rent to a prospective tenant because she is Black.

The suit alleged that during a showing of a row house on 13th Street Northwest to a Black woman, the owner said she “had only had white tenants and had never had a problem with any of them.”

The prospective tenant replied that she would take good care of the home if she was allowed to stay there. The landlord replied: “Everyone says that until they move in.”

The would-be renter said the landlord later repeated her preference for white tenants two more times, and refused to write a letter allowing the prospective tenant to get assistance from the Housing Choice Voucher Program to pay for the security deposit.

A second lawsuit accused the owner and management of an apartment complex on 25th Street Southeast of repeatedly denying a tenant with mobility issues a designated disability parking space within 200 feet of her apartment.

In a third suit, the attorney general’s office said a Craigslist ad for a town house for rent on Galveston Street Southeast included the words “No Section 8,” which refers to the public rental assistance program.

The office said each case demonstrates violations of the District’s Human Rights Act, which bans discrimination based on things such as race, disability and — in the case of housing — source of income.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up