South Shore real estate brokers to pay up to $110,000 after discrimination allegations: Attorney General Healey
South Shore real estate brokers have agreed to pay up to $110,000 and undergo fair housing training to resolve an investigation into allegations of discrimination against potential tenants, the attorney general announced Thursday. Maura Healey.
Brokers affiliated with Free and Clear Realty, Century 21 Annex, Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty and Success! According to the investigation, Real Estate Inc. violated state fair housing and consumer protection laws.
Brokers illegally denied low-income people the opportunity to rent an apartment because they were receiving public assistance through the federal Section 8 housing voucher program. Section 8 helps low-income residents get pay for rental accommodation on the private market.
Some of the settlements also resolved allegations of discrimination against families with children or the posting of discriminatory advertisements marketing rental apartments.
“Housing assistance programs are critical to the economic security of our most vulnerable residents, especially people of color and people with disabilities,” Healey said in a statement. “Unfortunately, this kind of widespread discrimination is representative of the barriers that many people face in finding safe and affordable housing.
“Housing providers cannot use the requirements of these programs as an excuse to refuse to rent,” she said. “We will continue to hold accountable those who deny residents access to housing based on prejudice.”
Healey also released a new guide in English and Spanish on Thursday to inform tenants, landlords and real estate stakeholders of their rights and obligations under federal and state fair housing laws.