Attorney General Karl Racine announced a lawsuit Nov. 29 against real estate companies Evolve, LLC and Evolve Property Management, LLC for refusing to show or rent available properties to recipients of federal housing vouchers.
“More than 10,000 District of Columbia residents depend on housing vouchers to assist them in meeting the high cost of living in our city and nearly 17 percent of D.C. residents live below the poverty line,” the Office of the Attorney General tweeted that day.
The Evolve real estate and property management companies are headquartered in the District, advertise multiple apartments available through its website and Craigslist, and require potential tenants to disclose whether they plan to pay the rent with housing vouchers, according to a press release.
This constitutes source-of-income discrimination, one of 20 protected traits under the D.C. Human Rights Act. And according to the court filing, offering a consumer good in violation of the Human Rights Act further violates the D.C. Consumer Protections Procedures Act. A study published by the Urban Institute in September found federal voucher holders were discriminated against 15 percent of the time when they applied for leases in D.C.
The Office of the Attorney General encourages residents who suspect they have experienced any type of discrimination to file a complaint with the D.C. Office of Human Rights.
More information about D.C. OHR complaints is available here or by calling (202) 727-4559.