D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced earlier this week that he filed a lawsuit against a landlord in charge of more than 1,000 apartments for allegedly discriminating against low-income tenants.
The defendants in the lawsuit are three real estate companies, Daro Management Services, DARO Realty, Infinity Real Estate, and company executive Carissa Barry.
According to a press release issued by Racine’s office, “the defendants forced housing voucher recipients to pay fees waived for non-voucher holders; placed voucher holders who fell behind on fee payments on track for eviction while failing to do the same for non-voucher holders; and engaged in discriminatory advertising.”
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) also claims that the DARO entities and Barry violated a settlement that resolves previous breaches of D.C.’s consumer protection laws.
OAG is trying to get a court order to put an end to the companies’ illegal practices, as well as relief for harmed consumers, and civil penalties to the District.
“There is a severe affordable housing crisis in the District of Columbia, and many vulnerable residents rely on housing assistance to afford a place to live,” Racine was quoted as saying in the release. “Discriminating against recipients of that assistance is illegal in the District of Columbia. That’s why the Office of the Attorney General is filing this lawsuit, reminding landlords that trampling over the civil rights of residents is unacceptable.”
Responding to WUSA9, the Daro Management and Barry released a statement, saying:
“The allegations within the complaint are false and are completely inconsistent with our business practices. We have and will continue to offer housing in a fair and consistent manner to all qualified residents regardless of their source of income. We look forward to working with the Office of the Attorney General to provide information supporting the ethics of our business practices and to resolve this matter.”