Hipster Enclave Design Place Won't Rent To African-Americans, Lawsuit Claims

georgedfouni_Pic.jpg
George Dfouni insists Design Place welcomes everybody, regardless of race.
On its website, Design Place at 5175 NE Second Court is billed as the Design District's most desirable Miami condo rental community for young professionals, graduate students and small families. But a local organization that fights unfair housing practices is suing SPV Realty, a New York company that owns the 500-unit apartment complex, for allegedly making Design Place undesirable to African-Americans.

SPV Realty principal George Dfouni says he has not seen the complaint, but denies his company is redlining African-Americans. "The allegations are false," Dfouni says. "You can't discriminate, especially in Miami. We have Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans at Design Place."

In a lawsuit filed today in Miami federal court, HOPE Fair Housing Center claims it sent three African-Americans and three Anglo Americans to Design Place in October to find out how they would be treated by SPV rental agents. According to court documents, the results were startlingly racist.

For example, India Bazemore, a 47-year-old African-American woman working for HOPE, claims she inquired about renting a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment on October 19. Bazemore alleges the leasing agent informed her no units were available and that she would need to submit a $1,195 deposit and $25 application fee to be put on a waiting list. The agent gave Bazemore an application, but did not give her any forms to fill out while she was in the leasing office.

The same day, a 28-year-old white female named Erin Lewis also went to Design Place to inquire about a two-bedroom unit. Lewis claims the leasing agent told her two units were available and had her fill out a form that included a question about how soon she wanted to move in. Lewis also said the agent was eager to give her a tour of the office apartment model and Design Place's amenities, as well as have her fill out the application.

Lawsuit Filed Against Design Place In Miami For Discrimination.
The lawsuit also alleges the African-American renters were quoted higher rental rates than their Anglo counterparts and that SPV Realty publishes advertisements that show a preference for white tenants by only showing white people in the ads.

"I call this discrimination by design," says HOPE President Keena J. Robertson. "Housing discrimination of any kind is unacceptable."

Dfouni insists his company does not treat any potential renters differently because of skin color. "We qualify people based on credit reports and background checks," he says. "We talk to former landlords to find out if they are good tenants. That is how we base it."

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18 comments
a.m.ruiz85
a.m.ruiz85

How would you like another story on how Design Place lies to tenants and practically steals their deposit money? And on how it has an infestation problem, and their are violating health code by letting plumbing brake and overflow behind the buildings where children play. Let me know. I am planning the build a class action suit. 

none
none

#thisplacesucks

QueerRant
QueerRant

Employment discrimination is common, so this is nothing new.

 

I bet in Africa you could get a nice plot of land. 

 

A popularity contest is still a popularity contest.

threeofive33136
threeofive33136

SMH. I had no issue with them. They infact did all they can to get me in. Only issue i had is the actual apartments. They are very outdated and the surrounding area was not much desirable for the pricing... oh .. I'm blk Caribbean.

marjoriehp
marjoriehp

George Dfouni has visible negroid features. Obviously, he's denying his roots.   What's his problem?  How long has he been living under a cave to no know the Federal laws?  Thanks for exposing him.  Work well done.  Hope the courts teach him a very, very needed  lesson in DISCRIMINATION.

BuenaVista
BuenaVista

That apartment complex is in Buena Vista and it is south of Lemon City.  It has nice landscaping.  

mily28
mily28

Hello this is the 21st century, discriminationt is again the law and later or sooner will be stamp out, justice will prevail. You should qualify a prospective tenant considering how do they look in paper like background checks, credit reports, previous lanlord references; Other way is it a wrong doing and all of us should learn that living in a diverse society made this nation one of the best.  LOL Mily 

jjcolagrande
jjcolagrande

Lol. We all know Dplace is in Little Haiti..

Ed Ochoa
Ed Ochoa

Yeah real nice area. NOT!

currentresident
currentresident

although im not a minority something similar happened to me. they promise a unit you are looking for then put you in something completely different. as I was driving in the golf cart with frank the manager, i heard him say on the phone to hold a unit and tell them it is unavailable because he was saving it for some reason for the 1st of the month. they lie, cheat and... their own maintenance crew stole things from my apartment while i was moving. you have to literally go and yell at the management to do something they promised to do. it's the most poorly run property management company i've ever dealt with.

Teresa Shnacks
Teresa Shnacks

I live like 2 blocks from this complex you're not going to be mugged I've lived in the neighborhood for 2 years and was never mugged. If D-place is racist then F them. The neighborhood has a lot of black families and is pretty friendly all be it sun bleached and a bit run down. Absolutely no reason to discriminate ever.

Former_DPlace_Resdnt
Former_DPlace_Resdnt

I lived there.  Worst experience ever. The apartments look NOTHING like the sample units. I mean NOTHING, they are very beat up, have mice. Turn on 3 things in the kitchen and your breakers go off. 

 

My downstairs neighbor was raided by DEA at 6am. 

 

Never believe anything they say. 

 

This does not surprise me, they are shady as they come. 

 

Bad Biz. And I am glad someone is uncovering them. 

Armando Hernandez
Armando Hernandez

These apartments are a dump! If you walk the hood you WILL be mugged...

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

Typical of the left.      All for equality until in effects them.  Then they turn into NIMBYs.

Palangana
Palangana topcommenter

shut up. Drug dealers provide an essential service.

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