A Mobile, Ala., real estate agent has lost her job after a conversation she had about an African-American man in the market to buy a condo was accidentally captured on his voice mail.
“Those people will panic when they see a black person drive up and look at it,” the agent allegedly said, referring to white neighbors who lived near the condominium. “I called him back. He didn’t answer so that was good! If I didn’t call him back he could sue me for prejudice.”
The agent was fired after the man shared the recording with investigators with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The agent’s brokerage, LLB&B Inc., agreed to pay $29,000 as part of a conciliation agreement.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing based on, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.
Last week HUD released the results of a study showing that although minorities are less likely to encounter blatant discrimination when house or apartment hunting than they once were, they are still told about and shown fewer housing units than whites.