Westerville-based Seattle House LLC purchased 24.2 acres on the city’s east side across from Glennwood Commons and developed the Seattle House Apartments on the property, which consists of 240 one- and two-bedroom apartments.
The developer’s attorney, Joseph R. Miller, states in the complaint that in order to tap into the city’s water and sewer lines, the city imposed “arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful fees” on Seattle House totaling $1,917,883.
Miller goes on to state Seattle House contracted an independent third party to look into how the city calculated the nearly $2 million in fees. The investigation, he adds, argues Seattle House’s total fees should have been $693,881, and the city “overcharged” the developer by more than $1.2 million.
Miller states the fees are discriminatory and violate the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
The ad—highlighting that NAR’s strict Code of Ethics goes beyond federal anti-discrimination laws and stresses honesty and fairness in housing—marks the first phase of NAR’s fair housing initiative. In addition, a sponsorship package in Politico’s “Playbook” newsletter will run next week. “In these unprecedented times, fairness and efforts to eliminate discrimination have never been more top of mind with consumers,” NAR President Vince Malta said in a statement. “For decades, NAR has been committed to, and fought for, making housing fair for all. And yet, many don’t realize the broad scope of NAR’s commitment against all forms of discrimination in housing, giving us a key moment of opportunity to own this commitment to fair housing in a public way.
“An initiative like this is made even more powerful with you—to stand behind it and bring it to life,” Malta noted. “We encourage members, brokerages, associations, and everyone in the REALTOR® family to join us as a champion of fair housing by leveraging these materials, sharing this message, and amplifying this important effort.”
NAR plans to build on the momentum of this first phase by launching a second phase of the fair housing initiative in September, extending into additional channels to make consumers aware of what discrimination looks like in housing. NAR also plans to collect real estate stories to help raise awareness around cases of housing disparity and discrimination.