Industry News

Texas landlords charged with discrimination

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The Department of Housing and Urban Development said today it is charging two Austin, Texas, landlords with violating the Fair Housing Act. Anibal and Janet Silva are charged with discriminating against Hispanic families in the sale of four homes in Austin and San Antonio, Texas, the housing agency said today. HUD's investigation determined that on five separate occasions Hispanic home buyers made down payments and entered into what they believed to be purchase agreements for homes owned by the Silvas or their family members. The contract signed in all cases was actually a lease. Often, when the home buyers discovered they had been misled and requested a refund, the Silvas refused. A former employee, Liliana Ramirez, who worked as an agent with Anibal Silva, told HUD officials that the Silvas targeted Hispanics because it was easy to get them to sign documents since they do not read them, or they are unable to read them due to their limited English skills. She said the Silvas alw...