HUD Issues Housing Discrimination Charges After Missouri Housing Complaint
But what are your options if you encounter difficulty in the housing process due to illegal discrimination against you for your national origin, your family status, disability, sexual orientation, the number of children you have, or any other illegal and non-financial reason?
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced charges of housing discrimination against conservators of the Felder Peter King Estate of Ward Protectee, the Estate, and the owners and property manager of duplex and triplex apartments in St. Charles, Missouri.
HUD alleges that discrimination occurred via a refusal to rent property to an applicant, "...because he has two children” according to the press release.
Fair Housing Act laws forbid a property owner from denying a rental unit on the basis of family status. That goes up to and includes landlords denying housing applications from families with children under the age of 18.
“Families today face enough challenges without being denied a place to call home because they have children,” said Jeanine Worden, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, who was quoted on the HUD official site in an FHA/HUD press release from September 17, 2021.
Worden says the actions mentioned in the press release, "...reaffirms HUD’s commitment to ensuring that housing providers meet their obligation to treat all home seekers equally, including those with children.”
According to HUD's Fair Housing Law charge, an apartment manager indicated an apartment could not be rented. including “the boss” giving a “firm no” against renting to those with children. Statements like these can be considered violations of the law.
Current tenants and prospective renters alike share protections against such violations.
“Housing providers are required by law to rent to families with children. HUD will enforce the law to ensure that families with children can get the housing they need,” according to HUD General Counsel Damon Smith.
This case is scheduled to go before a United States Administrative Law Judge. If that Judge finds that Fair Housing Act laws were violated, it could result in monetary damages being awarded to the victim and civil penalties may apply for the violators as well.
Violations of the Fair Housing Act make it harder to find a home to buy or rent and if you experience such abuse while looking for a home, you may be the only person able to stop future violations. You can do this by reporting your complaint to the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (Relay).
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