|HUD No. 21-109
HUD Public Affairs
June 28, 2021
HUD APPROVES AGREEMENT BETWEEN MASSACHUSETTS HOUSING PROVIDER AND PROSPECTIVE TENANT WITH CHILD SETTLING CLAIMS OF DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has approved a Conciliation Agreement between the owner of rental properties in Springfield, MA, and a prospective tenant, resolving allegations that the owner refused to rent available units to the woman after learning that she has a child under the age of six. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against families with children under the age of eighteen. Housing providers may exclude children only if the housing meets the Fair Housing Act’s exemption for housing for older persons.
“Families looking for safe, decent housing shouldn’t be penalized because they have children,” said Jeanine Worden, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.” Today’s agreement reaffirms HUD’s commitment to working to ensure that housing providers meet their obligation under the Fair Housing Act to treat all home seekers equally, including those who have children.”
The case came to HUD’s attention when a woman who has a child filed a complaint with HUD alleging that the owner of rental units she sought to lease refused to rent to her because her child is under the age of six. Massachusetts law requires landlords to de-lead any unit in which a child under six lives.
Under the terms of the agreement, the owner will: pay the woman $15,000, undergo fair housing training, include language in all future rental advertisements indicating that he complies with all federal and state fair housing laws, and test and de-lead his properties as necessary.
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.