|HUD No. 21-027
HUD Public Affairs
February 22, 2021
HUD CHARGES RHODE ISLAND HOUSING PROVIDER WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging D&D Realty Management, LLC, in Providence, Rhode Island, the owner and manager of several rental properties in that city, with violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent to families with children. HUD’s charge alleges that the owners stated that they cannot have children at the property and refused to show available units to fair housing testers posing as prospective tenants with children. Read HUD's charge.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to rent to a family because of children under the age of 18 and to make statements that discriminate against families with children. This includes publishing advertisements that indicate a preference or otherwise discriminate against families with children. Housing may exclude children only if it meets the Fair Housing Act's exemption for housing for older persons.
"Families have a difficult enough time finding suitable affordable housing without being turned down just because they have children,” said Jeanine Worden, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "HUD will continue to take appropriate action when housing providers fail to meet their obligations under the Fair Housing Act.”
“Families with children have a right to the same housing opportunities as others,” said Damon Smith, HUD’s Principal Deputy General Counsel. “HUD is committed to enforcing that right and ensuring that housing is available to families with children.”
The case came to HUD's attention when SouthCoast Fair Housing, a HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agency operating in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, filed a complaint based on fair housing tests it conducted after seeing an ad on Facebook for remodeled student apartments. The charge alleges that when testers contacted D&D Realty Management to inquire about available units and mentioned that they had children, the owner told them: "Unfortunately, we can’t allow children." In addition, D&D Realty Management allegedly cancelled meetings to show units after learning that a tester had a child. Meanwhile, testing evidence showed that testers without children who applied for housing were shown available units and offered the opportunity to rent.
HUD's 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 administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, the judge may award damages to the complainant for losses that have resulted from the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose civil penalties in order to vindicate the public interest.
People 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) 877-8339 (Relay). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to hud.gov/fairhousing, or by downloading HUD's free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple and Android devices.