Kroger settles with apartment complex

Bryan Cohen Feb. 27, 2012, 2:00pm


PORTLAND, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregon Attorney General John Kroger announced an agreement on Friday with the owners and managers of a Southeast Portland apartment complex resolving alleged housing discrimination.

Kroger's office received several complaints from current and former tenants with families against Wah Mai Terrace Apartments and property manager Norris & Stevens that alleged housing discrimination. The owners and managers allegedly engaged in discrimination against families with children.

"The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Oregonians," Kroger said.

Norris & Stevens and Wah Mai Terrace Apartments were made aware of the allegations and cooperatively stepped forward to resolve the allegations of fair housing violations.

Under the terms of the agreement, Wah Mai and Norris & Stevens have removed policies from tenant rules and regulations that prohibit children from riding tricycles, bicycles, Big Wheels, skateboards or roller skates on the property. In addition, policies prohibiting children from having toys on private patios or the enforcement of policies restricting where children can play on the property will be removed. The changes will go into effect at approximately 8,300 units managed by Norris & Stevens.

The defendants will also participate in fair housing training and purchase a playground structure for the center courtyard area at Wah Mai Terrace Apartments. In addition, the defendants will refrain from collecting on fines and other tenant debts accrued due to the enforcement of potentially unlawful rules. Wah Mai and Norris & Stevens will pay a total of $35,000 to six current and former tenants, $20,000 in attorney fees and costs to Kroger's office, and $9,816,36 to Legal Aid Services of Oregon.

"I want to thank Legal Aid Services of Oregon for its help in resolving claims of unlawful housing practices," Kroger said. "Discrimination against families is unacceptable."

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