D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has filed a lawsuit against Evolve, LLC and Evolve Property Management, LLC for illegal housing discrimination and violating consumer protection laws.
Racine filed the action on Nov. 29 in D.C. Superior Court. In its complaint, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) alleged that renters who received federal housing assistance didn’t have the chance to view Evolve’s properties because of their status.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction against the companies to stop the discriminatory business practices as well as restitution and penalties for violating District laws against housing discrimination.
“Many District of Columbia residents receive subsidies, including housing vouchers, to assist them in meeting the high cost of living in our city,” Racine said in a statement. “It is illegal to deny housing opportunities to District residents who use subsidies or vouchers to pay for their rent. [The] lawsuit is a warning to entities that deny housing on the basis of source of income is discriminatory, illegal and will not be tolerated.”
Many District residents are recipient of “Section 8” vouchers that help them secure housing on the private market at market rates and expands their choices beyond public housing projects. The OAG, in the lawsuit, said that when a prospective renter contacted the Evolve companies online, it become apparent that housing vouchers holders received discouragement from the companies to proceed in the application process.
Several attempts to contact Evolve by telephone and through its website for comment were unsuccessful.