The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced the approval of a Conciliation Agreement between Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board and a group of Upland, CA, property owners and managers resolving allegations that they discriminated against families with children by refusing to rent to them and by imposing different occupancy terms and conditions to families with children. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to deny or limit housing because a family has children under the age of 18, and to make statements or establish rules and policies that discriminate against families with children. Housing may exclude children only if it meets the Fair Housing Act’s exemption for housing for older persons.
“Families looking for safe, decent housing shouldn’t be penalized because they have children,” said Anna María Farías, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Today’s agreement reaffirms HUD’s commitment to ensuring that housing providers meet their obligation to treat all applicants the same.”
The case came to HUD’s attention when Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board (IFHMB), a HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agency, filed a complaint based on results from their fair housing tests. IFHMB alleged the tests showed the property owners and two property managers refused to rent to families with children and/or offered them different lease terms and conditions. The owners and managers also allegedly implemented an unreasonably restrictive two-person-per-bedroom occupancy policy at two rental properties. The owners and managers deny they discriminated against families with children but agreed to resolve the matter through the Conciliation Agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, the owners and property managers will pay IFHMB $10,000, abolish any two-person-per-bedroom policy, remove language regarding the two-person-per-bedroom policy from advertising and marketing materials, and have property managers and staff that interact with applicants and tenants attend fair housing training.
Persons who believe they have experienced housing 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.