Charleston apartment company responds to discrimination accusation

Published: Jan. 9, 2014 at 6:52 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2014 at 6:53 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - One of the two Charleston area apartment managing companies accused of discrimination against the deaf have released a statement regarding the allegation.

"VTT Management is currently looking into this accusation and will investigate it fully," read a statement by VTT Management on Friday afternoon." VTT has always been passionate about providing each and every tenant and applicant excellent  customer service without exception."

On Thursday, the National Fair Housing Alliance accused VTT Management and Berkshire Property Advisors discrimination against the deaf.

Officials say the organization did an undercover investigation of apartment rental companies around the country. The organization says they used a deaf person and a person that does not have a hearing disability for their investigation.

According to the alliance, their investigation found that the person with normal hearing was treated much better than the deaf person.

The alliance announced on Thursday that they are filing complaints against Berkshire Property Advisors and VTT management, both in the Charleston area.

The alliance says the apartment complexes in the discrimination complaint are Berkshires at Ashley River on Ashley Crossing Lane and Pine Crest Apartment Homes on McMillian Avenue in North Charleston.

A woman named Kirsten who is deaf, participated in the investigation.

"Even in the current time, the number of deaf and hard of hearing people who are having these kinds of experiences are so high. You would think that wouldn't be the case," she said during an afternoon news conference.

National Fair Housing Alliance president Shanna Smith said the complaints will be filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Additionally, Smith said a North Charleston apartment complex continuously hung up on the deaf person involved in the investigation.

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