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Bias suit targets La. apartment complex

April 15, 2004 at 5:26 PM

NEW ORLEANS, April 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Justice Department Thursday announced a lawsuit against a Louisiana apartment complex for alleged bias against prospective black tenants.

The suit targets the owners and managers of the Foster Apartments in St. Bernard Parish, La.

The federal complaint alleges the defendants discouraged black people from renting apartments while encouraging white applicants to do so. Specifically, the complaint alleges the defendants told prospective black applicants that they had no apartments for rent while at the same time telling white applicants that apartments were available.

The lawsuit seeks an order prohibiting the defendants from engaging in unlawful housing discrimination, monetary damages for alleged victims of the defendants' unlawful conduct and payment of a civil penalty.

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability.

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