Brotman Enterprise, a Philadelphia-area real estate company, will pay $25,000 to resolve allegations brought by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that its agents discriminated against African-American prospective renters.
HUD says it discovered the discrimination after the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), a fair housing organization that receives HUD funds to combat housing discrimination, filed a complaint alleging that Brotman Enterprise was unlawfully denying housing opportunities to African Americans.
HUD sent white and black ‘testers’ posing as rental applicants to Brotman's offices. Employees allegedly steered white testers to neighborhoods they described as safer, while directing black testers to areas agents considered ‘rough.’ As such the firm violated the Fair Housing Act.
‘Testing remains one of our most effective tools for exposing unlawful housing discrimination,’ says Bryan Greene, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity for HUS, in a statement. ‘HUD will continue to enforce the Fair Housing Act to ensure that no family has their housing options limited because of their race.’