Consumer Law

A Detroit Landlord is Being Sued for Not Renting to Blacks

When more than a dozen renters new to Detroit’s up-and-coming Islandview neighborhood met last year to consider forming a tenants’ union, they were struck by the realization that in addition to sharing a landlord, they almost all shared the same skin color: White, in a neighborhood that’s predominantly black.

That discovery is now the basis of a federal lawsuit brought by three of the tenants last month, alleging landlords Reimer Priester and Alex DeCamp racially discriminated against Black prospective and existing tenants by either refusing to rent to or attempting to evict them, thereby “unlawfully (depriving)” the non-Black tenants of “the social and professional benefits of living in a racially integrated society.”

The suit, which one expert calls unusual and a longshot, aims in part to force the landlords to correct the alleged behavior. Just 20 percent of Priester and DeCamp’s 35 rental units in Detroit’s Villages area are occupied by Black tenants, the landlords say, when Census estimates show the zip code is 80 percent Black.

Read the source article at Deadline Detroit

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