Friends of Refugees

A U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Watchdog Group

HUD reaches settlement with company that refused to rent to Burmese refugees

Posted by Christopher Coen on October 10, 2012

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has reached an agreement with a rental housing company in Pennsylvania that allegedly refused to rent to refugee families. An article at the Intelligencer Journal explains:

The Ecklin Group has agreed to pay $12,000 to settle federal allegations that it refused to renew apartment leases with Burmese refugee families.

The Ecklin Group denied discriminating against the three families, which rented apartments in Lancaster city.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Ecklin Group allegedly balked at renewing the leases because of the families’ national origin.

Ecklin Group staff also allegedly said that the company would no longer accept rental referrals from Lutheran Refugee Services for Burmese families…

…In announcing the settlement Tuesday, HUD said three Burmese families were notified by the company that their leases were not being renewed because of alleged lease violations.

The Ecklin Group told HUD that the leases were not renewed because the Burmese families were noisy and smelly, and attracted mice and roaches.

In one case, a Burmese tenant sheltered a person who was not on the lease, according to the Ecklin Group.

All three families generated complaints from other tenants in the buildings, the Ecklin Group told HUD.

But HUD’s investigation showed that only the Burmese tenants’ leases were not renewed, although the company had similar concerns about other tenants.

The agreement calls for Ecklin Group to donate $12,000 to Lutheran Refugee Services… Read more here

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2 Responses to “HUD reaches settlement with company that refused to rent to Burmese refugees”

  1. diana3211 said

    If the allegations of noisy and smelly tenants who attracted mice and roaches is true, and it may not be, then it seems like Lutheran Refugee Services could have done a better job orienting the refugees. It seems ironic that Lutheran Refugee Services then becomes the recipient of a $12,000 donation. Nevertheless, rental companies have no business singling out a group for special treatment.

  2. cory82 said

    It like a landlord who has a bad experience with a young male tenant or two and then decides not to rent to young men any longer. Can’t do that. plus its not fair.

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