LLB&B, a Mobile, Ala.-based real estate company, will pay $29,000 as part of a settlement to resolve allegations that one of its agents denied a home tour to a prospective buyer because he is African American, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said.
According to the homebuyer, he learned of the discrimination once the real estate agent inadvertently left a voicemail on his phone stating her belief that white neighbors would "panic" at the prospect of an African American neighbor.
It is unlawful to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability due to the Fair Housing Act. The act also prohibits refusing to show a condominium to a prospective buyer as well as making statements that discriminate because of race or color.
"No one should be denied the opportunity to purchase a home because of their race," said John Trasviña, HUD assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "The company has taken steps to resolve this matter, provide relief to the potential homebuyer and prevent a recurrence."
LLB&B has agreed to pay the man $29,000, order fair housing training for all its employees and include the fair housing logo in all its advertising.