Housing Discrimination

Brown, Goldstein & Levy attorneys have won numerous precedent-setting fair housing cases, including leading cases regarding discrimination based on race and disability.

The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs recognized the firm’s work with its “Outstanding Achievement Award in the Field of Fair Housing” after Andy Freeman and Chris Brown won a $2 million verdict against a major homebuilder for discriminatory advertising that used exclusively white models.

For over 25 years, we have provided legal services to Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to eliminate discrimination in the provision of housing opportunities, especially for black and disabled persons. Chris Brown and other BGL attorneys have successfully litigated over 30 cases for BNI, winning millions of dollars for BNI’s development fund. In 2012, BNI awarded the inaugural Dickens Warfield Fair Housing Award to Chris for his years of support in successfully advancing BNI’s fair housing litigation.

Andy Levy has been a national leader in fair housing cases involving discrimination against people with disabilities. He acted as counsel in efforts to establish group homes for persons with disabilities in the face of active community resistance. He was the lead counsel in the landmark Potomac Group Home case, which led to the elimination of state and local laws requiring neighbor notification and public hearings prior to the opening of such homes. He also obtained the first judgment in the country under the design and construction requirements of the Fair Housing Amendments Act in the Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc. v. Rommel Builders and LOB, Inc. series of cases.

Andy represented an incoming student at Towson University whose campus dorm was wheelchair-inaccessible. The school and Capstone Development Corp., the Birmingham, Alabama-based developer whose subsidiaries managed the Millennium Hall dorm, settled the federal lawsuit for $300,000; Capstone also promised to provide the student with four academic years of free accessible campus housing and any tuition not covered by scholarships or non-loan financial aid.

Chris Brown and Andy Freeman have been part of a team of lawyers in Thompson v. HUD, a landmark case seeking to desegregate Baltimore’s public housing. The federal district court held HUD liable for violating the Fair Housing Act by using Baltimore City as an “island reservation for the region’s poor.” The suit has provided thousands of African-American families in need of public housing with the opportunity to live in communities of opportunity throughout the Baltimore region.

Andy Freeman obtained a $900,000 settlement of a housing discrimination case in which a garden apartment development steered African-American tenants to rear units in Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc. v. Leonard Stulman Enterprises, L.P. and also obtained a $250,000 settlement in a case in which real estate agents steered white prospective buyers away from neighborhoods with significant African-American populations.

 

Joe Espo
Andy Freeman
Eve Hill
Jessie Weber

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