WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the City of Ansonia, Connecticut, signed an agreement that will settle claims that the city denied housing opportunities to families with children.
HUD is the government agency with primary responsibility for enforcing the Fair Housing Act, the federal law which prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. Among other practices, the law prohibits municipalities from enforcing land-use ordinances in such a way that discriminates against families with children.
HUD became involved in the matter when the owner of Ansonia Crossing, LLC, a development consisting of 16 single-family homes, filed a complaint with the agency alleging that the City of Ansonia had ordered him to stop renting to families with children, citing a zoning rule that restricted the site to housing residents age 55 and older.
The owner alleged that the city had no such zoning restriction but claimed it as a way to reduce the number of children in the local public school system.
Under the settlement, the City of Ansonia agreed to: 1) not enact an ordinance restricting the section of the city where Ansonia Crossing is located to housing for persons 55 and older; 2) refrain from retaliating against the owner or any person who aided or participated in the investigation; 3) pay the owner’s $3,000 legal bill; and 4) maintain and make available records demonstrating its compliance with the agreement.
“I am pleased that the city of Ansonia has entered into this agreement,” said John Trasviña, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “At a time when there is a shortage of affordable rental housing in many of our nation’s communities, it is important that housing opportunities are open to everyone, including families with children.”
HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate more than 10,000 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777 (voice), 800-927-9275 (TTY). Additional information is available at www.hud.gov/fairhousing.