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NLR apartment complex accused of discrimination

By Christina Huynh

This article was published January 9, 2014 at 4:49 p.m.

A Washington, D.C.-based housing organization has accused a North Little Rock apartment complex of quoting higher rental prices and withholding information about deposit specials to the hearing-impaired.

The National Fair Housing Alliance announced Thursday that it has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against RCP Lakewood LLC for purported discriminatory practices at Lakewood Hills Apartment Homes, located at 2400 McCain Blvd.

The complaint states that the apartment complex, which is owned by RCP Lakewood LLC, has treated people who are deaf differently from those without hearing impairments when inquiring about available units and pricing. The organization conducted three tests over a "period of months," with the most recent test occurring on Sept. 17.

According to the report, an agent with the apartment complex told the first tester, who was not hearing-impaired, that two-bedroom units were available, with the largest renting for $575 per month.

But when a tester — who was identified as deaf or hearing-impaired — asked about the same units, the agent purportedly quoted as much as $725.

The complaint also alleges that the non-hearing-impaired testers were often offered move-in specials while the deaf testers were not.

The apartment complex's manager Trinikka Jackson has denied the allegations, calling the purported discrimination practices "totally false."

"We do not definitely discriminate against anyone in Lakewood Hill Apartments," Jackson said. "It's very unfortunate that this allegation was brought about. We value all of our residents and our applicants and whomever walks through the front doors and calls the complex."

Other apartment complexes in California, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas also were targeted in the complaints that stemmed from a year-long investigation, according to the housing organization's officials.

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