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Veteran Claims Anti-War Landlady Refused to Rent Him an Apartment Because of His Military Service


"...it was like a spit in the face..."

A Boston-area landlady is under fire after she allegedly refused to rent out an apartment to a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, because of her anti-war political beliefs.

In a voicemail dated to April 9, played for the Boston Herald in the presence of the veteran's lawyer, 63-year-old Janice Roberts reportedly said: “It just is not going to be comfortable for us without a doubt. It probably would be better for you to look for a place that is a little bit less politically active and controversial,” adding, "We are very adamant about our political beliefs."

Sgt. Joel Morgan, who served in the National Guard, explained: “For her to do that to me, it was like a spit in the face...For what we have gone through overseas, to come home to our country and have people ... discriminate against us. ... It made me extremely insecure about being a soldier.”

Morgan has decided to sue Roberts, and his lawyer Joseph Sulman commented: “It’s illegal...but also just unconscionable. It’s something any American should be embarrassed about.”

The Boston Herald was in contact with Roberts, and she claims:

...Morgan was one of 30 people who inquired about the apartment. “We had to choose somebody,” she said, declining to take further questions. But she authorized Sulman to release to the Herald a 16-page “response” she sent the lawyer dated May 23, in which she stated Morgan never filled out a rental application. Morgan said he took a rental form but decided not to return it after hearing her voicemail. She also cited questions about his ability to pay the rent, what roommates he would have, whether he had issues with a prior landlord, and whether he had been racially insensitive when he mentioned a noise complaint he had with his prior neighbors, who were black. Morgan denied any racist intent in the remark.

Roberts wrote...“This bodes the question, ‘Why would someone like Joel Morgan, who apparently fought so valiently (sic) in wars in which he believed, want to even choose to subject himself to renting an apartment from people — like myself — who were so vigorously seeking an end to the Iraq War??’

“There was never any mention to Morgan that his being a veteran would impede his chances to rent from us. If anything, he was a victim of U.S. greed, and for that, I feel much empathy.”

See Fox News' interview with Morgan, below:

Morgan is a divorced father of a 19-month-old son who not only served combat tours in Iraq in both 2007 and 2008, but also served in Afghanistan last year and in Guantanamo Bay in 2003, according to the Herald.

“Almost every time I’m in uniform and I walk past a child, they salute,” Morgan said with a grin, adding that the interaction with the landlady “didn’t take away [his] pride of being a soldier for the United States."

"I’ll hold onto that until I die,” he said.

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