West Salem landlord settles disrimination lawsuit

MADISON, Wis. — A West Salem landlord settles a federal lawsuit accusing her of refusing to rent to a single woman with a young child.

The woman filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) after Darlene Dovenberg refused to show her a rural home for rent.

According to the lawsuit, Dovenberg told the woman she would not rent to her because there was not a man living with her who could “shovel snow and stuff.”

Dovenberg apologized to the woman, and will pay her $15,000 in damages. Dovenberg and her corporation, Dovenberg Investments, will also be reuired to attend fair housing training and develop and maintain non-discrimination policies.

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, family status, national origin and disability.

If you think you’ve been a victim of housing discrimination, you can call the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743 (mailbox number 9993), or e-mail the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov. You can also call HUD at 1-800-669-9777.