Open Communities Alleges Housing Discrimination Based On Income
Richardson, a black complained about the housing discrimination done to her because of the housing choice vouchers.
Open Communities has filed a federal lawsuit against nationwide property management company Harbor Group Management alleging that the company used artificial intelligence tools to reject renters who use housing choice vouchers. The lawsuit was filed on Monday and was backed by more than six months of investigation conducted by open communities.
Elizabeth Richardson reached out to Open Communities alleging that Harbour Group Management had discriminated against her and rejected her application to rent in Northwest Chicago Suburb wheeling.
Richardson is Black and uses the housing choice voucher program to cover some part of her housing costs. With these vouchers, the recipients are free to choose the housing wherever they want.
The investigation found out that Harbour Group uses AI tools which in turn led to discriminatory outcomes.
The lawsuit claims that the defendants intentionally used PERQ Artificial Intelligence systems to automatically communicate a policy of not accepting rental applications from individuals receiving housing assistance payments, including Housing Choice Vouchers or Section 8. This policy allegedly led to the rejection of applications from individuals like Richardson.
Filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the lawsuit seeks damages and injunctive relief against the defendants.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said, “The Fair Housing Act bars more than intentionally discriminatory conduct — it also bars policies that have an unjustified discriminatory effect based on race, national origin, disability, or other protected class.”
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Carey Lily. “Open Communities lawsuit alleges racial, income-based housing discrimination”. Daily Northern Western, September 27, 2023,
Last Updated: September 20, 2021