WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging housing providers in Georgia, Louisiana, and New Hampshire with violating the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against families with children.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against families with children, including denying or limiting housing to families because they have children under the age of 18, making discriminatory statements, and imposing rules or policies that discriminate against families with children.
“Families with children have the same rights as any other American,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “The enforcement actions we are taking today signal HUD’s commitment to ensuring that housing providers meet their obligation to treat all applicants and residents the same.”
HUD is charging the owner of a three-unit rental property in New Orleans with violating the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against families with children. The case came to HUD’s attention when the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, a HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agency, filed a complaint after seeing a classified ad the owner placed on Craigslist. A fair housing tester posing as a married father with eight-month-old twins sent an email to the owner inquiring about the apartment. After a friend of the owner showed the tester the unit, the owner sent the tester an email allegedly stating, “I’m not sure the combo with the two young babies and the vacation rental next door is the best fit…I have only gotten a few complaints from long-term tenants over the years, but I am concerned that with two young kids you could be complaining more than that and I don’t want to get the wrong tenants in the house.” Read the charge.
The charges will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, damages may be awarded to the complainants.
Any person who believes she or he has experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing, or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple and Android devices.