EULESS -- A former leasing agent at a Euless apartment complex is asking state and federal officials to investigate whether the complex committed civil-rights violations by denying apartments to potential tenants with Middle Eastern or Asian backgrounds.
Daniesha Davis, 29, filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department in January. The complaint says her employers at Stonebridge at Bear Creek told her to place Middle Eastern and Asian tenants in two buildings at the complex.
When those blocks of apartments were full, Davis said, she was told to turn away Middle Easterners and Asians inquiring about apartments -- even if units in other parts of the complex were vacant.
Potential tenants with Middle Eastern- or Asian-sounding names or accents were told "no vacancies" when they called the complex at 2250 Fuller-Wiser Road, Davis said.
"I was told that no one else wanted to live by these people. That they were dirty and they cooked with curry," she told the Star-Telegram. ...
But the recent discrimination claims have drawn concern from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a national Muslim civil-rights group. The group urged HUD to take a closer look.
The council is concerned that, if Middle Eastern and Asian people are being singled out, practicing Muslims are among those being discriminated against, said Mustafaa Carroll, president of its Dallas-Fort Worth board.
He said misconceptions about the Muslim community and Islam have lingered since 9-11. He said Middle Easterners and Asians who practice Islam have seen increased discrimination in employment and housing. (More)