Detroit Lakes, Minn– A 25 year old woman who was turned away as a tenant because she was African-American will be receiving $25,500 as part of a settlement filed Thursday in federal court in Minneapolis. When Ranesha Halliburton arrived to see the property with her boyfriend and his father, landlord Pearl Beck said it was not for rent, adding, “No way. No way. It’s not for rent. I can’t do this. I’m not renting to these kinds of people.”
Specifically, authorities concluded, the Becks violated the federal Fair Housing Act by refusing in 2007 to rent a dwelling to Halliburton because of her race. A month after turning her down, the Becks rented the same home to a white man, according to federal officials.
Despite feeling “disrespected and violated” in her encounter with the Becks, Halliburton continued to deepen her roots in the Detroit Lakes. She works as a nurse’s assistant at a nursing home, rents a home in town and attends Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Detroit Lakes, where she studies occupational therapy.
“I have a lot of things going on here,” she said Friday. “I felt I’d be giving up if I went away. I’ve met a lot of nice people here. I have a wonderful landlord.”