Lawsuit: Blacks discriminated against trying to buy property at Lakeland mobile home park

Investigators: Whites helped, blacks discouraged
Posted at 11:21 PM, Sep 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-30 23:21:01-04

A lawsuit filed on Friday alleges that the owner and managers of May Grove Village Mobile Home Park violated the Fair Housing Act.

The lawsuit names James C. Goss as the owner and Cathy Plante and Joey Gwozdz as managers of the mobile home park.  The suit alleges all three violated the Fair Housing Act.  

During July to November of 2015 the United States conducted “testing to evaluate Defendants’ compliance with the Fair Housing Act.  During that “testing” authorities said that the Defendants treated African Americans looking to purchase a mobile home in the community “less favorably than similarly-situated white persons who contact the Park for that same purpose.”

The testing revealed a number of different scenarios in which blacks were treated differently than whites.

The suit alleges that the Defendants told “African Americans that no mobile homes were available for inspection when they came to the Park but informing white persons of the availability of mobiles homes for inspection; telling African Americans that fewer mobile homes were available for inspection they they informed white persons about; telling African Americans that mobiles home would be available for sale or inspection at dates later than they told white persons mobiles homes would be so available.”

Blacks were also quoted higher sale prices, higher down payments, and told there was no financing available.  

The suit is asking for a jury trial and monetary compensation for anyone turned away because of their race.