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PRESS RELEASE: Justice Department Settles Housing Discrimination Lawsuit Against Southwind Village Owner of North Fort Myers, Florida, Mobile Home and Recreational Vehicle Park

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Justice Department Settles Housing Discrimination Lawsuit Against Owner of North Fort Myers, Florida, Mobile Home and Recreational Vehicle Park

The Justice Department announced today that Southwind Village LLC, the owner and operator of Southwind Village Mobile Home Park in North Fort Myers, Florida, has agreed to pay $60,000 to resolve allegations that it discriminated against African Americans in violation of the Fair Housing Act. The settlement was approved today by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

The government’s complaint, filed on Sept. 30, 2015, alleges that Southwind Village’s then-manager, Carl Bruckler, refused to rent recreational vehicle lots to African Americans. According to the complaint, Bruckler falsely told African Americans who inquired about residing in the park that no lots were available or that there was a waiting list, and discouraged African Americans from making future inquiries at the park. The lawsuit is based on the results of testing conducted by the department’s Fair Housing Testing Program, in which individuals pose as renters to gather information about possible discriminatory practices.

“Discrimination on the basis of race or color in housing will not be tolerated,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division. “We appreciate Southwind Village’s willingness to resolve these serious allegations promptly.”

“All citizens, regardless of their race or color, have the right to equal and fair treatment when choosing where to live,” said U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III of the Middle District of Florida. “We will continue to fight illegal discrimination, wherever it might exist.”

Under the terms of the agreement, which is in the form of a consent order, Southwind Village will establish a settlement fund in the amount of $35,000 to compensate victims of their discriminatory practices and pay a civil penalty of $25,000 to the United States. The agreement further requires Southwind Village to take steps to ensure that African Americans are no longer restricted from renting recreational vehicle lots at Southwind Village Mobile Home Park, located at 1269 River Road in North Fort Myers, and to provide periodic reports to the government. The settlement does not resolve the government’s lawsuit against Carl Bruckler.

Individuals who have information about, or who believe they may have been harmed by, the defendants’ conduct should contact the Justice Department toll-free at 1-800-896-7743, option 9992, or e-mail the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.govEmail links icon. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability.

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Most of the information you will see comes from some Federal/state Government documents or Federal/State Governm Agency. -----------------------------------------------The fellow that can only see a week ahead is always the popular fellow, for he is looking with the crowd. But the one that can see years ahead, he has a telescope but he can't make anybody believe that he has it. ~~~~Will Rogers __The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.~ Albert Einstein ~"I never work better than when I am inspired by anger; for when I am angry, I can write, pray, and preach well, for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understandingsharpen​ed, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. _________________________________________________________________________________________ ~"The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment".~___________________________________ George Washington, Address to the Members of the Volunteer Association of Ireland, December 2, 1783 Fredericacade@gmail.com

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