BrokerageIndustry News

Real estate firm charged with racial discrimination

Federal lawsuit alleges Fair Housing Act violations

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The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a fair-housing organization, charging a RE/MAX brokerage and an affiliated agent in northern Illinois with housing discrimination. The lawsuit, filed July 18 in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, charges that testing conducted by the National Fair Housing Alliance revealed discrimination based on race and national origin. Officials at RE/MAX East-West, which is based in Elmhurst, Ill., did not respond to Inman News requests for comment. The National Fair Housing Alliance conducted an investigation of the sales practices of RE/MAX East-West from June 2004 through February 2005 using undercover "testers" who posed as home buyers. The testers were of different races and origins. The results of this investigation led to an NFHA complaint, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development investigation and the federal lawsuit. The organization has also conducted similar tests at sever...