WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that the owners of Covington Place Apartments in St. Louis, Missouri will pay a couple $3,500 to settle allegations that its rules and policies discriminated against families with children. The couple claimed that apartment rules did not allow their children, supervised or not to use its exercise facility or allow them to play outside in front of their unit or in other common areas outside.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of family status, including setting restrictive terms and conditions on tenants with children. The agreement comes after the couple filed a complaint with HUD.
"Families with children shouldn't be subjected to arbitrary restrictions," said Derrith Watchman-Moore, HUD's Great Plains Regional Administrator. "Overly restrictive policies targeted at children deprive families the basic enjoyment of their homes. HUD will continue to enforce the Fair Housing Act when unfair practices discriminate against families because of their children."
According to HUD's investigation, once when the couple's daughter was playing outside, the property manager screamed at her that she could not play there. In addition, management posted signs all around the property stating: "No bike riding and no skateboarding."
Under the terms of the Conciliation Agreement, Covington Place Apartments agree to remove their policies that children are not to play outside in front of their units or ride their bikes in the street, as well as modify their restriction of children not using the weight room so that it is not discriminatory towards families with children. Additionally, they will pay $3,500 to the couple, and the company's employees will undergo fair housing training.
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