RENO, Nev. (CN) – The federal government say publishers of the Elko Daily Free Press violated Fair Housing laws when it ran a customer’s ad looking to rent a mobile home to a family with “no kids.”
The United States says in Federal Court that Lee Enterprises, which publishes the daily in Elko, Nev., ran the ad in November 2008 for Vicki Carter, the rental manager of Wallace Mobile Home Park.
The ad, which ran for a week, read: “Private park. City view! 2bd/2bth, washer, dryer included. No kids, no pets,” the lawsuit states.
The Silver State Fair Housing Council, a Reno, Nev.,-based non-profit, caught wind of the ad and investigated. It says it later confirmed that the mobile home park refuses to rent to families with children.
In April 2009, Silver State filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which investigated and brought the current lawsuit.
Plaintiffs say the newspaper is guilty of “discriminating by making, printing, or publishing an advertisement with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicates a limitation or discrimination based on familial status,” the lawsuit states.
The feds want the alleged discrimination stopped, and seek to prevent the newspaper from running similar ads in the future.