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Familial Status Case Settles Before the Human Rights Commission

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Petropoulos withdraws his claim against Dorchester House Associates.
(Washington, DC) In a housing case set for a hearing before the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights, the parties in Petropoulos v. Dorchester House Associates et al. reached a settlement regarding the complainant’s allegations of discrimination based on familial status. In consideration of withdrawing his claim against the Dorchester House Associates, Mr. Petropoulos received $4,000. This matter stems from an investigation by the Office of Human Rights, which found that the complainant and his wife moved into a one-bedroom apartment unit at the Dorchester. At that time, the respondent had a policy which stated that the number of residents in a one-bedroom apartment is limited to three (3) people. Subsequent to their moving into the apartment, the complainant and his wife had two (2) children, thereby putting them above respondent’s occupancy limit. District of Columbia occupancy regulations prescribe the minimum amount of floor area for the number of individuals residing in a housing unit. Mr. Petropoulos’ unit met the requirements. Upon discovering violation of it its policy, the respondent attempted to cure this violation by offering to move complainant to a two-bedroom apartment . The complainant refused the offer. Respondent attempted to evict the complainant, and later abandoned any attempt to evict him and his family. The issues that were to be addressed before the Commission were whether respondent’s enforcement of occupancy limits violated the Human Rights Act and whether such enforcement has a disparate impact on families with children.