Undercover investigation reveals housing discrimination against Latinos in LR

    10:03 PM, Oct 9, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) filed an official complaint Wednesday against Bailey Properties, the owners of Waterford Apartments, saying potential Latino tenants are being targeted and ignored.

    Set just off Green Mountain Drive, Waterford Apartments is a well established complex in West Little Rock. But, Wednesday a complaint filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance alleges discriminatory practices by management. THV11 was able to speak with a NFHA representative by phone.

    "A series of tests identified a pattern of discriminatory conduct including the failure to provide Latino prospective tenants with a rental application," explained Morgan Williams with the National Fair Housing Association.

    For example, the NFHA said white and Latino testers called for renter information on the same day. The white tester received an application within eight minutes. The Latino renter waited 12 days for a response and received far less information.

    Bailey Properties, the owner of the complex, has corporate offices at Union Station in Little Rock. They are denying all the allegations, and though he respects the NFHA, legal counsel Daniel Oberste told THV11 over the phone that the accusations are unfounded, baseless allegations drawn from an inadequate investigation.

    "There is no rational, economic, business, ethical or really human reason for us to discriminate against any Hispanic," Oberste stated.

    Now it's up to the state's Fair Housing board to investigate. If the allegations prove to be true, Bailey properties could be forced to make some serious changes, but Oberste is confident things won't come to that.

    The formal complaint only sites one instance of discrimination on March 6 of this year. However, the National Fair Housing Alliance said they found multiple violations. You can read the full complaint here.

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