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Couple with four win award for housing discrimination

Matthew and Julie Hargraves accepted $10,000 to settle a discrimination case against the owner of a four-bedroom house in Okemos, Mich. The total settlement agreement of $10,500 also calls for $500 to be paid by the owners, Gregory and Effie Spiridakos, to receive fair housing training, according to a release by the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan.

Hargraves contacted the Center to complain that he was not permitted to rent the home, located on Tamarack Drive, because he had four children.

Hargraves was going through a divorce and sought housing for himself and his family, including his future wife Julie. At the time of the complaint his children ranged in age from five to 11.

The Center used testers posing as families with and without children to contact the owner of the rental. Testing evidence supported the claim of discrimination.

Testing for this complaint was paid for by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Total Fair Housing Center aided settlements now exceed $1.7 million.


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