Tenants of a mobile housing complex in Fairfax County filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against their landlord
Tenants of a mobile housing complex in Fairfax County filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against their landlord Monday, marking the first time a case related to fair housing law has been brought against a private landlord, according to Legal Aid Justice Center managing attorney, Ivy Finkenstadt, who represents the plaintiffs.
The four Latino families named in the suit allege that Waples Mobile Homes Park and it’s management company, A.J. Dwoskin & Associates, have violated the federal Fair Housing Act, the Virginia Fair Housing Law and the Manufactured Home Lot Rental Agreement by refusing to renew the leases of households with family members who are unable to show a Social Security card or some other proof of legal residence.
“This is an act of courage,” Finkenstadt said at a press conference announcing the case in front of the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse in Alexandria. “[The policy] has a disproportionate impact on families of Latino origin, regardless of immigration status.”
According to Finkenstadt, Waples Mobile Homes Park has long had a policy requiring tenants to show Social Security, a passport or another form of identification proving that they’re legal U.S. residents, but the landlord didn’t start enforcing it until late 2015.
The families involved in the suit all have children who were born in the U.S. and at least one adult with a Social Security number.
Legal Aid Justice Center represents the plaintiffs along with the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.
“When they told me I had to move, even though my husband and son could keep living there, I was overcome with frustration and disbelief,” Rosy Giron de Reyes, one of the plaintiffs and a former tenant of Waples Mobile Homes Park, said. “This is why I’m standing up for my rights, together with my neighbors. I hope this lawsuit will force them to do the right thing.”
A representative of Waples Mobile Homes Park declined to comment on the case.
A.J. Dwoskin & Associates was unable to be immediately reached for comment.