Polk County

Polk County RV park owner accused of discriminating against transgender woman

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — An owner and property manager of a Davenport RV park has been charged with discriminating against a transgender woman, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said Tuesday.


The agency said it will charge 21 Palms Resort Inc. and its owner, Nathan Dykgraaf, with discriminating against a tenant because of her gender identity.

Read: Florida responds to ‘Don’t Say Gay’ confusion, says enforcement will be limited

The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from discriminating against tenants, including on the basis of their gender identity.

Dykgraaf allegedly violated the act when he gave the tenant a letter that said he was aware she was transitioning but told her she should dress, speak and behave like a man to avoid trouble.

Read: New lawsuit filed over Texas trans family investigations

“No one should have to change how they express their gender identity to maintain their housing,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s principal deputy assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Setting restrictions like these is not only unacceptable, it is illegal.”

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Read: Florida school grades: How did your district do?