March 19, 2024

Equal Rights Center and Kettler Management Reach Agreement Designed to Promote Fair Housing at Kettler Properties in D.C.

Agreement Resolves ERC Allegations of Discrimination Against Voucher Holders

(Washington, D.C.) — Today, the Equal Rights Center (ERC) announced that it reached an agreement with Kettler Management, Inc. (Kettler) to settle allegations that the company unlawfully refused to accept housing vouchers at its D.C. residential apartment properties, including the Rise at Temple Courts, Lotus Square, Solstice, Park Kennedy, Union Heights, and Dock 79.

Between July 2022 and September 2023, the ERC was contacted by at least seven housing voucher holders who had sought to rent a home at Kettler-managed properties. They alleged that Kettler was using unlawful minimum income and credit history requirements to reject applicants with housing vouchers, among other illegal practices. Following these reports, the ERC conducted an investigation and filed a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court alleging that Kettler has a policy or practice of discriminating against voucher holders, in violation of the D.C. Human Rights Act (DCHRA) and D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act (DCCPPA). This agreement resolves that lawsuit.

ERC Executive Director Kate Scott remarks, “When housing providers impose unfair income and credit requirements on voucher holders, they deprive qualified applicants of the opportunity to rent the home of their choice in the neighborhood where they want to live and contribute to ongoing racial segregation in the District. We applaud Kettler for taking such important steps to ensure voucher holders in the District get the fair shot at housing they deserve by entering into today’s agreement.”

The agreement lasts for three years and applies to all multi-family rental properties in D.C. for which Kettler is the leasing agent or property manager. As part of the agreement, Kettler will:

  • Affirmatively market that its properties accept voucher holders, and that minimum income and credit score requirements do not apply to voucher holders;
  • Require leasing agents and property management staff to attend ERC fair housing training;
  • Undergo regular compliance testing conducted by the ERC;
  • Pay $140,000 to the ERC, which includes compensation for damages, attorneys’ fees, and the cost of future training and compliance testing;
  • Affirm and distribute a non-discrimination policy; and,
  • Designate its Director of Compliance as Housing Choice Voucher liaison and ensure they have training about the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The liaison will be available to answer housing inquiries from voucher holders.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a federally funded housing subsidy program that currently provides rental and housing assistance to approximately two million low-income families in the U.S., including about 11,500 families in the District. The program’s intent is to eliminate barriers that would restrict low-income families from securing housing in high opportunity neighborhoods—areas with increased access to public transportation, grocery stores, and well-performing schools—but source of income discrimination hinders the program’s potential.

In 2022, The D.C. Council amended the DCHRA to prohibit landlords from refusing to rent to applicants who use housing vouchers based on the applicant’s income level, credit score, or lack of credit score. Additionally, since a voucher fundamentally alters its recipient’s economic reality, the law also prohibits landlords from considering prior nonpayment, late payment of rent, or any credit issues that arose during a period in which the applicant did not have a voucher.

Scott continued, “The amendments made by D.C. Council to the D.C. Human Rights Act are an important step toward breaking down the barriers voucher holders face when searching for housing. Now it’s up to housing providers to follow the law. This settlement should encourage housing providers across the District to review their policies and practices to ensure they’re not discriminating.”

The ERC is represented in this matter by Crowell & Moring LLP and Handley Farah & Anderson.

The settlement agreement is available here.

Kate Scott, Executive Director
Equal Rights Center, (202) 370-3220


ABOUT THE EQUAL RIGHTS CENTER: The ERC is a civil rights organization that identifies and seeks to eliminate unlawful and unfair discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations in its home community of Greater Washington D.C. and nationwide. The ERC’s core strategy for identifying unlawful and unfair discrimination is civil rights testing. When the ERC identifies discrimination, it seeks to eliminate it through the use of testing data to educate the public and business community, support policy advocacy, conduct compliance testing and training, and, if necessary, take enforcement action. For more information, please visit

ABOUT HANDLEY FARAH & ANDERSON: Handley Farah & Anderson are lawyers who seek to improve the world.  Based in Washington, D.C., they fight for: workers deprived of wages, consumers deceived about products, tenants denied access to housing, farmers mistreated by processors, parents deprived of adequate parental leave, investors who were defrauded, small businesses harmed by antitrust violations, persons with disabilities denied access, whistleblowers who uncover fraud, and women and communities of color subject to discrimination.

ABOUT CROWELL & MORING LLP: Crowell & Moring is an international law firm with operations in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia. Drawing on significant government, business, industry and legal experience, the firm helps clients capitalize on opportunities and provides creative solutions to complex litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and corporate and transactional issues. The firm is consistently recognized for its commitment to pro bono service as well as its programs and initiatives to advance diversity, equity and inclusion.

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