Landlords from two Berlin, New Hampshire properties have settled allegations of violating the Fair Housing Act after it was accused by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development of housing discrimination when they refused to rent to a woman who was a victim of domestic violence.
Under the Act, property owners are prohibited to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status.
"No woman should be denied housing based on her status as a domestic violence survivor," said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "HUD remains committed to ensuring and promoting fair housing opportunities for women and men alike."
The agreement is the result of two complaints filed by a woman with HUD in December 2013. In the first complaint, the woman alleged that TKB Properties and the New England Family Housing Management Organization refused to renew her lease because of police visits responding to her domestic violence-related 911 calls. The second complaint arose when the woman was searching for another home after her lease was not renewed, alleging that landlord Michael Warren refused to rent her an apartment based on the previous domestic violence-related police visits.
Under the terms of agreement one and agreement two, the woman will receive $13,550 from the three respondents. The landlords have agreed to participate in fair housing training and undergo monitoring by HUD. TKB Properties and New England Family Housing also will revise their policies and leases for all HUD-subsidized properties to comply with the Violence Against Women Act and HUD's regulations providing protection for victims of domestic violence in public and federally-funded housing.
The woman was represented by New Hampshire Legal Assistance, which receives funding through HUD's Fair Housing Initiatives Program to assist people who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed at hud.gov/fairhousing or by downloading HUD's free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
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The locations were chosen based on job growth, which mostly ranges between 1.5 percent (Minneapolis) and 4.2 percent (Austin) annually, and median home prices mostly ranging between $123,000 and $340,000 (Seattle). The cities were also chosen based on business climate, booming industries, and tendency to become a "millennial hotspot."
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Each individual listing page on Nestbuilder.com features a professional virtual tour of the property with audio commentaries, an overview of the property and a map to pinpoint to buyers the property's exact location. The page is also equipped with social media integration functionalities allowing agents and consumers to save the page for reading later or for friends and people within their network to see on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
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The Microvideo App is a platform targeted at brokerage firms allowing brokers and their agents to collaborate in creating listing video microsites and executing marketing campaigns.
Nestbuilder Agent is a tool that is accessible through listing site Nestbuilder.com and allows agents to create professional agent profiles and virtual tours out of listing photos. These tours can be shared automatically to the agent's network through social media platforms and email.
EzFlix is a smartphone app that allows agents to create, edit, and share their property videos through their tablets or mobile phones. It appears like a social network and is easy to use with drag and drop functionalities, and a timeline that keep all agents' listing photos and videos in one place.
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RealBiz has access to the nation's largest real estate companies with numerous approved vendors and national contracts, both key to its future development programs. When completed, the company is targeting distribution of its digital video network to more than 70 million households and an agent driven MicroVideo App program. For more information, please dial this toll free number at 1.888.REAL.BIZ (888.732.5249) or email at email@example.com.