Houston-area family sues after being denied apartment
The Ra-Amari family had found the perfect condominium — newly developed in a predominantly Asian area west of Houston, Texas thriving with development — but were repeatedly denied the opportunity. option to purchase units, which they claimed in a federal lawsuit was because of their race.
As reported by Houston ChronicleJames Ra-Amari, his wife Misty Ra-Amari and Misty’s sister Rosemary Afful, who are black, claim in a lawsuit filed Friday that a real estate agent refused to sell units to the three real estate investors, telling them “we won”. not being able to get along well”, as one hears in a audio recording posted on social media.
According to the lawsuit, the real estate agent, Josie Lin, told the family that she reserved the authority to purchase property in the Grand West Condominiums in Katy, Texas, and that she was “personal friends” with all owners.
“I don’t feel any different from the region in terms of its growth potential,” James told the outlet. “But it makes me feel different to shift my resources to a place that doesn’t seem to want us.”
The lawsuit names two real estate brokers, RE/MAX and EXP Realty, as well as Lin, as defendants. Reached for comment, RE/MAX told The Chronicle that Lin had not worked for the company since December 2021, months before the alleged incident.
According to the report, Lin was surprised to learn of the lawsuit when contacted by the Chronicle, but did not respond to emailed copies of the filing. EXP Realty did not immediately respond to the outlet’s request.
James, Misty and Rosemary became interested in buying three units in the Great West after James saw an open house flyer for the building while having lunch at his usual spot: Jia Kitchen in Katy Asian Town, a short drive away. car from where he and Misty live with their four children, according to the outlet.
The filing materials include a flyer featuring the Great West as an “option for Chinese and Asian communities in Houston” seeking “a safe and simple Asian life.”
James, an investor in other Houston-area properties, along with Misty and Rosemary wanted to buy one unit to occupy and two to rent. The group was going to pay the asking price in cash, but alleges in the lawsuit that Lin told them on August 20, “I’m not negotiating.”
According to the report, the family alleges that although she never stated her intention to use a loan to purchase the units, Lin told them that “Fannie Mae lends [a government-sponsored mortgage finance company] would not be approved…”
According to the lawsuit, Lin also felt that she only wanted to sell units to owners aged 55 and over – but when the trio asked if that was the reason for the refusals, Lin replied: “No, I’m not going to sell to you because I feel like I wouldn’t get along with you.
James told the Chronicle he developed a ‘dark feeling’ during the exchange and no longer ate at Jia Kitchen, but intended to challenge the denial as fiercely as possible with Misty and Rosemary to set an example. to him and Misty’s children.
“They look at their mom and dad and think, ‘What are you going to do about this? “, James said. “No matter how uncomfortable we feel, we’re not going to go down without a fight.
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