port of harlem snippets

September 23 - October 6, 2005


The National Fair Housing Alliance Files
New Suit in Metro Chicago

William AmpofoThe National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) announced at a news conference the filing of a discrimination complaint against Re/Max East West, a major DuPage County, Illinois, real estate company.  In Washington, William Ampofo, owner of Realty Depot USA, speaks of discrimination in the nation’s capitol. 

The NFHA complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, results from testing conducted in suburban Chicago communities in both DuPage and Cook Counties. NFHA's investigation reveals a dramatic pattern of steering based on race and national origin.

Agents of Re/Max East West consistently and repeatedly showed potential White homebuyers homes in White communities and showed potential Latino homebuyer’s homes in minority communities. In addition to illegal steering in violation of the Fair Housing Act, agents made negative comments to White home buyers about minority communities.

In April, NFHA filed a similar discrimination complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development against an Atlanta area Caldwell Banker franchisee. In July, NFHA filed a complaint against Century 21 Town and Country, located in the Detroit metropolitan area.

“Discrimination still exits in this country,” added Ampofo, owner of Realty Depot USA.  “Last year, in a continuing education class, the instructor showed a video of a young Black lady from Georgetown University Law School who was looking for a place to rent and encountered discrimination right here in our nation’s capitol!”

Ampofo and other agents must periodically take continuing education class as a requirement to get their real estate licenses renewed.  He added, “I always tell my agents to ask questions about what the client wants and where the client wants to live versus taking them to places where the agent wants to go.” If realtors ask detail questions before showing clients the available properties, I do not think anyone can accuse a realtor of steering. 

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