United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Steven Whalen United States Magistrate Judge
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN PART AND DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN PART 
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN United States District Court Judge
consolidated action arises out of alleged housing
discrimination. Pending before the Court is Defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgment . The Parties have fully
briefed the issues and a hearing was held on May 15, 2017.
For the reasons that will follow, the Court GRANTS
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment IN PART and
DENIES Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment IN PART.
action is brought by the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan
Detroit (hereinafter “Plaintiff” or
“FHC”). Defendant Jewish Senior Life of
Metropolitan Detroit, Inc. is a non-profit corporation
(hereinafter “JSL”). Dkt. No 44, p. 2 (Pg. ID
273). JSL is the sole member of co-Defendants Jewish
Apartment and Services, Inc. (hereinafter “JAS”)
and JAS Non Profit Housing Corporation VI. Id. JAS
employs the staff who operate senior housing communities.
Id. The community at the center of this action is
the Meer Apartments, staffed by JAS and controlled by JSL.
factual basis for the racial and national origin claims turns
on a series of tests conducted by the Plaintiff. The factual
basis for the religious discrimination claim turns on a
Kosher kitchen and dining facility operated within the Meer
# 1 (Frederick Simpson/ Michael Martin)
to the Plaintiff, on June 4, 2013 at 10:36AM, Frederick
Simpson visited the Meer Apartments. Dkt. No. 48, p. 12 (Pg.
ID 1373). Simpson, who is an African American male, inquired
about the availability of a one or two-bedroom unit, stating
that he would like to move in within thirty days.
Id. Michael Sorna, a Meer employee, informed Simpson
that there were no vacancies in one or two-bedroom units.
Id. When Simpson asked for a tour, Mr. Sorna
declined, stating that he had a move-in that precluded a tour
at that time. Id.
a Housing Program pursuant to the Michigan State Housing
Development Authority. Dkt. No. 48, p. 10 (Pg. ID 1391).
Accordingly, it is funded at least in part by public
taxpayers dollars and is used for low and moderate income
persons. Id. Hechtman Apartments are located near
Meer. Hechtman Apartments are subsided by the Department of
Housing and Urban Development. Id., p. 14 (Pg. ID
1375). Upon leaving Meer, Mr. Sorna encouraged Simpson to
apply with Hechtman. Id.
2:30PM on the same day, Michael Martin, a Caucasian male,
visited the Meer Apartments. Id. Martin was given a
tour and encouraged to move in. Id. Mr. Sorna showed
Martin three apartments. Id. During this time, there
was always at least one vacant one-bedroom apartment.
Id., p. 15 (Pg. ID 1376). Martin was never referred
to Hechtman. Id.
# 2 Michael Simmons/Tim Daniel
24, 2013, Michael Simmons, an African American male, visited
the Meer Apartments. Id. Simmons informed Marcia
Middleton, a Meer administrator, that he was interested in a
two-bedroom unit. Id. Simmons was told that there
was a waiting list for the two-bedroom units, but did not
discuss one-bedroom units. Id.
25, 2013, Tim Daniel, a Caucasian male, visited Meer.
Id., p. 16 (Pg. ID 1377). Daniel informed Mr. Sorna
that he was looking for a one or two-bedroom unit.
Id. Mr. Sorna informed Daniel that there were three
one-bedroom units available, gave him a tour of the complex,
and offered to show him a one-bedroom unit. Id.
# 3 Ikram Bashi/Yvette Roome
September 13, 2013 at 3:30PM, Ikram Bashi, a
Chaldean-American born in Iraq, visited the Meer Apartments.
Id. Bashi informed a Meer employee that she was
looking for a unit for her father. Id., p. 17 (Pg.
ID 1378). The employee informed Bashi that she did not have
time to give her a tour. Id. After requested, the
employee gave Bashi information about Meer, including a
business card, and told Bashi to call for an appointment.
same day, at 5:15PM, Yvette Roome, an American-born Caucasian
woman, visited Meer Apartments and received a ten-minute
tour, including a tour of a one-bedroom apartment.
Id. Without asking, Roome received information about
Meer. Id. According to Roome, she called before she
arrived at Meer to let staff know that she was stuck in
traffic. Dkt. No. 44-22, p. 23 (Pg. ID 553). An on-site
security guard told Roome that although the staff was
leaving, Roome could still come in for information.
Id. It was this security guard that greeted and gave
Roome a tour. Id.
# 4 Victoria Bobbish Ward/Patricia Davis
October 24, 2013 at 9:16AM, Ward, a Caucasian female, visited
the Meer Apartments. Id. She informed Mr. Sorna that
she was looking for housing for her father. Id. Mr.
Sorna informed Ward that there were several one-bedroom
apartments available, and mentioned that there were subsidies
available. Id., p. 18 (Pg. ID 1739). Before leaving,
Mr. Sorna referred Ward to Marcia Mittleman for further
information and literature about Meer. Id. .
same day, at 12:05PM, Patricia Davis, a sixty-eight year-old
African American female, visited Meer. Id. She
informed Mr. Sorna that she was looking for housing for her
father and asked about both one and two-bedroom apartments.
Id. Mr. Sorna indicated that there were several
one-bedroom units available and told Davis that she would
have to phone Marcia Mittleman for a tour of the facility.
Id. There was no mention of subsidies available at
Meer. Id. Before leaving, Mr. Sorna gave Davis
literature which included the following statement:
JEWISH SENIOR LIFE IS DEDICATED TO ENHANCING THE QUALITY OF
LIFE FOR OLDER ADULTS OF THE METROPOLITAN JEWISH
COMMUNITY…THE PROGRAMS AND ...