$80K settlement reached in student housing discrimination lawsuit

One of the properties in question owned by Savio.
One of the properties in question owned by Savio.(HNN File)
Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 6:56 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A settlement has been reached in a housing discrimination lawsuit.

Hawaii Developer Peter Savio and the U.S. Justice Department agreed to an $80,000 settlement after three student complexes owned by Savio were accused of unfairly rejecting applicants with children. The suit alleged that these potential tenants were turned away or steered to other properties because of their family status.

The suit was filed last year and claims that the potential tenants in some cases were told the particular property wasn’t “suitable” for them. 

Savio argued that his Beachwalk, Kalo Terrace, and Pacific Villa complexes were dorm-style housing, not intended for families.

But in reaching the settlement, Savio said he felt extorted by the feds to agree to the deal, and settled because it would cost more to fight it.

As a part of the settlement, the companies also need to adopt non-discriminatory policies and train employees to comply with the Fair Housing Act.

“Many families across the country are struggling right now to find housing, and they should not also have to endure discrimination that makes finding a place to live even more difficult,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “It is illegal to refuse to rent to families with children, and the Justice Department is committed to vigorously enforcing the Fair Housing Act and seeking relief for families harmed by unlawful discrimination.”

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