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Neighborhoods change all the time. An industrial area might find new life as a haven for artists, or a blue-collar part of town could become the next hot ZIP code. But if a neighborhood changes because a landlord is discriminating against tenants based on their race, that change is illegal.
That’s what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Develop and Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) claim a Cincinnati landlord did. When a tenant noticed a swift change in the racial makeup of their neighborhood, HOME conducted tests to see if Valley Woods Apartments was discriminating against potential tenants. As a result, HUD is charging the landlords with the Fair Housing Act by giving preferential treatment to Hispanic families over black applicants.
It’s true that neighborhoods change, and they often change for the better. But when landlords take part in racial discrimination, communities can only change for the worse.