HUD, MINNESOTA CONDO ASSOCIATION SETTLE DISCRIMINATION CLAIM Homeowners association to pay over $40,000 for discriminating against families with children
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) an-nounced today that a homeowners association and property managers for an Edina, MN, condominium will pay more than $40,000 under a Consent Order resolving allegations that they refused to allow children under the age of 18 to live at the property in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
HUD charged 7000 Sandell Condominium Association, Inc., its property management company, New Concepts Management Group, Inc., and the property’s off-site manager, Paul L. Bonzonie, with violating the Fair Housing Act for maintaining a policy that prohibited children from living in the building. Additionally, HUD charged that the condominium association failed to adhere to requirements necessary to establish an exemption under the Housing for Older Persons Act.
“Condominium associations may not routinely deny families the right to have their children live with them,” stated John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to take action any time a family’s fair housing rights are violated just because they have children."
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers, including condominium associations, from denying housing to families with children under the age of 18, unless the housing meets the federal standards to be housing for older persons.
According to a condominium owner’s complaint filed with HUD, the condominium association told him and his wife that they were violating the association’s document by allowing their minor children to live with them for more than 30 days in a calendar year. In addition, the condominium association levied fines against them and initiated a lawsuit in Minnesota state court in an effort to keep the couple’s children from living with them. HUD alleged that the condominium association failed to meet federal requirements to qualify as housing for older persons because the association failed to formally and routinely verify the ages of the complex’s residents.
Under the terms of the Consent Order, 7000 Sandell Condominium Association, Inc., its property management company, and the property’s off-site manager will pay the owner $30,000, pay his attorney $12,200, and allow the couple and their children to live in the condominium without fear of retaliation or harassment.
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