|HUD No. 18-114
HUD Public Affairs
October 4, 2018
HUD CHARGES TEXAS LANDLORD AND PROPERTY MANAGER WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced it is charging a McAllen, Texas property owner and management company with discriminating against families with children. HUD alleges the owners of El Patrimonio Apartments and its management company, Texas Regional Asset Management, LLC, threatened to fine a family $250 because their two children played in the community area of the complex. Read HUD's Charge.
The Fair Housing Act expressly prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of familial status, including setting restrictive terms and conditions on tenants with children under 18.
"Families shouldn't be penalized for letting their kids be kids," said Anna María Farías, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Imposing different rules and restrictions on families because they have children is a violation of the Fair Housing Act and HUD is committed to ensuring that housing providers meet their obligations under the law."
HUD's charge alleges that the owners of El Patrimonio Apartments enacted a policy that required children under the age of 18 to be supervised by an adult family member while on the property, including the pool area, with violations of the policy resulting in a $250 fine. In one instance, a couple was threatened with a fine because their two children were playing in the community area while being supervised by adults who were not blood relatives.
"Discrimination against families with children violates the law and limits the ability of children to be children," said J. Paul Compton, HUD's General Counsel. "HUD will continue to take action to protect the rights of families."
The case will be heard in federal district court. If it is determined that illegal discrimination occurred, a judge may award actual and punitive damages, order injunctive, or other equitable relief to deter further discrimination, and order that defendants pay the couple's attorney fees.
Last April, HUD marked the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, joining local communities, housing advocates, and fair housing organizations across the country in a coordinated campaign to enhance awareness of fair housing rights. Persons who believe they have 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). Read more.