The United States Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against a Lakeland mobile home park, alleging racial discrimination.

  • May Grove Village mobile home park
  • Accused of violating Fair Housing Act
  • DOJ suing the park for racial discrimination
  • More: Read the lawsuit

The DOJ said it investigated the May Grove Village mobile home park last year to see if it was complying with the Fair Housing Act.

It said African-American potential buyers were treated differently than potential white buyers.

Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that the May Grove Village told African-Americans about fewer mobile homes for sale than whites, quoted higher sales prices for African-Americans and told African-Americans higher down payments would be required.

Park residents we spoke with were surprised by the allegations.

"It would be very shocking if there were any truth to it,” said resident Chuck Baggett. “Because of all the other people we have had in here.”

Some residents said African-Americans had been regular residents at the park over the years.

"I was surprised because it is the first time I hear that,” said long-time resident Ana Ocasio.  

Named as defendants in the case are owner James C. Goss and park managers Cathy Plante and Joey Gwozdz. Goss didn’t respond to a request for a comment.

The DOJ said it was seeking financial compensation for victims and civil penalties for the owner and managers.