|HUD No. 19-146
HUD Public Affairs
September 27, 2019
HUD CHARGES NEW YORK LANDLORD WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging a Hamburg, New York, landlord with violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent to and making discriminatory statements about families with children. Read HUDâ€™s charge.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against families with children under the age of eighteen. Housing may exclude children only if it meets the Fair Housing Actâ€™s exemption for housing for older persons.
â€śDenying a family the opportunity to obtain housing because they have children is akin to slamming a door in their face,â€ť said Anna Maria Farias, HUDâ€™s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. â€śThis charge reflects HUDâ€™s ongoing commitment to taking appropriate action whenever landlords and property owners fail to meet their obligations under fair housing laws.â€ť
According to HUDâ€™s charge, the owner of a mixed-use property, which contains two apartments, allegedly refused to rent a one-bedroom unit to an applicant because he has a son who would stay with him three times a week. HUDâ€™s charge further alleged that the owner stated that he did not want any children living at the property, citing parking concerns.
â€śThe Fair Housing Act protects families with children from unlawful discrimination when seeking access to housing,â€ť said Paul Compton, HUDâ€™s General Counsel. â€śHUD will continue to bring actions to ensure that landlords comply with their obligations under the law.â€ť
The charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party elects for the case to be heard in federal court. If the judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he or she may award damages to the complainants for their loss as a result of the discrimination. The judge may also order other injunctive or equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose civil penalties to vindicate the public interest.