The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has reached a conciliation agreement with the Lancaster, Pa.-based Ecklin Group regarding the latter's alleged policy of refusing to rent to Burmese refugee families.
According to HUD, the agreement is the result of a complaint the department initiated against Ecklin Group after company staff allegedly failed to renew the leases of three Burmese families because of their national origin, and made statements to various people that the group would no longer accept rental referrals for refugees that were referred by Lutheran Refugee Services. The company agreed to the settlement, but denied the allegation of racially motivated housing policies.
Under the terms of the agreement, the company will donate $12,000 to Lutheran Refugee Services, provide fair housing training for all its employees, and include the phrase ‘Equal Housing Opportunity’ or the fair housing logo in all newspaper and other rental advertisements.
‘America's protection of refugees fleeing persecution from abroad includes ensuring protection against housing discrimination here,’ says John Trasvina, HUD's assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity. ‘HUD will continue to take action against housing providers that unlawfully deny housing to families because of their national origin.’