|HUD No. 20-160
HUD Public Affairs
September 30, 2020
HUD CHARGES RHODE ISLAND HOUSING PROVIDERS WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it is charging John Street Properties No. 66, LLC and John Street Properties No. 72 and 72A, LLC, the owners of rental properties in Providence, Rhode Island, along with their property manager, Lenox Realty Group, Inc., and one of its employee with housing discrimination. Read HUD’s Charge.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to families with children under age 18, including refusing to negotiate and making discriminatory statements based on familial status.
“Families seeking housing have the right to have access to the housing options that work best for them, a right that should not be denied by housing providers,” said Anna María Farías, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Today’s action reaffirms HUD’s commitment to taking appropriate action when the nation’s housing laws are violated.”
“HUD remains committed to ensuring that families with children are provided the same housing opportunities as those without children,” said Michael Williams, HUD’s Principal Deputy General Counsel. “Under the Fair Housing Act, housing providers may not limit the housing choices of families because they have children.”
HUD's charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he or she may award damages to the family for harm caused by the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney’s fees. In addition, the judge may impose fines to vindicate the public interest. If the matter is decided in federal court, the judge may also award punitive damages.
Persons who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a complaint of discrimination by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 or visiting How to File a Complaint on HUD’s website. Materials and assistance are available for persons with limited English proficiency. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the Department using the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.