|HUD No. 19-045
HUD Public Affairs
April 8, 2019
HUD ISSUES ORDER RESOLVING CLAIM OF DISCRIMINATION BY MAINE HOUSING PROVIDERS
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that Page Realty, LLC, the owner of a Manchester, Maine, rental property, and its rental agent, Ramona Venskus, will pay $18,000 under a HUD Consent Order resolving allegations that they denied housing to families with children. Read the Order.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to families with children under age 18, including refusing to negotiate, making discriminatory statements, and publishing discriminatory advertisements based on familial status.
"It's hard enough for families to find places to live that meet their needs without being denied suitable housing because they have children," said Anna María Farías, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "HUD is committed to working to ensure that housing providers comply with their Fair Housing Act obligation to treat all applicants the same, including families with children."
Paul Compton, HUD's General Counsel, commented: "This settlement represents an important step in HUD's continued efforts to ensure that all persons, including families with children, are able to pursue housing opportunities free from discrimination."
The case came to HUD's attention when Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc., a HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agency in Portland, Maine, filed a complaint alleging that Page Realty, LLC, and Ramona Venskus discriminated based on familial status when they refused to negotiate with fair housing testers posing as families with children, posted discriminatory advertisements indicating that children were not allowed, and made discriminatory statements to fair housing testers. The Order resolves HUD's October 2018 charge of discrimination against the owner and real estate agent.
Under the Consent Order, Page Realty, LLC, and Ramona Venskus will pay Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc., $18,000 and attend fair housing training.
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).