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Ann Arbor woman files lawsuit claiming source-of-income discrimination by landlord

Megan Morse
Civil Rights Litigation Initiative - University of Michigan
Megan Morse

An Ann Arbor woman is filing a lawsuit claiming source-of-income discrimination. Her legal counsel says it is the first lawsuit of its kind in the city.

Megan Morse says she was denied an apartment from two complexes owned by the Wilson White Company. She says they denied her because she tried to use a housing voucher.

Morse has epilepsy and other disabilities, which makes it difficult to earn a living. So, she was awarded housing vouchers from the Ann Arbor Housing Commission.

“I was very confused as to why [I was being denied] because I had this voucher in my hand, literally, kind of waving it, almost going ‘Hey, I have this money, it’s a guarantee’ to move in, but still I was denied.”

Rebecca Lowy is a student attorney at the Civil Rights Litigation Initiative at the University of Michigan. She says the City of Ann Arbor has a very clearly stated ordinance that makes it illegal for landlords to refuse people based on their source of income.

“People like Megan, who just want to be a part of this community, should be able to be considered for renting. Folks who are low income have every right to be considered as renters if they’ve already been vetted and have the ability to pay.”

WEMU reached out to the Wilson White Company and did not receive a response to a request for comment.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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