CONNECTICUT LANDLORDS AGREE TO SETTLE HUD FAIR HOUSING COMPLAINT
ALLEGING THEY DISCRIMINATED AGAINST FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced an agreement with a group of Connecticut landlords to resolve allegations they discriminated against families with children. HUD reached the agreement with New Britain-based Green New Britain, LLC, and PBJ Management, and their on-site property manager for allegedly refusing to rent a two-bedroom apartment to a single mother and her two young children. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to deny or limit housing because a family has children under the age of 18. Housing may exclude children only if it meets the Fair Housing Act’s exemption for housing for senior citizens.
“When a property owner refuses to show an available unit to a family because they have children, they’re not only denying them a housing opportunity, they’re violating the law,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “No one should have to hide who they are or who their family is while looking for a place to live. This agreement reaffirms HUD’s commitment to ensuring that housing providers treat all applicants the same, regardless of gender, race or family status.”
The case came to HUD’s attention when a single mother of four-year-old twin boys filed a complaint alleging that Green New Britain, LLC denied her the opportunity to rent a two-bedroom unit in Greenview Apartments because she has children. The woman filed her complaint with the help of Connecticut Fair Housing Center, a HUD partner under the Department’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP). According to the complaint, after learning that she has two sons, Greenview’s property manager told her that there would be some clean-up involved and that he would get back to her. But the manager never did.
Two weeks later, the woman’s mother called the property manager on her daughter’s behalf. When the mother reminded him that her daughter has two children, the manager allegedly said that he would need to consult with his wife, who would not be back in town for two weeks.
Suspecting discrimination, the woman then asked her cousin to call about the unit. According to the complaint, when the property manager asked the cousin who would be living there, she explained that it was for her and her husband. The property manager then allegedly offered to show her the apartment the next day.
Under the Conciliation Agreement, Green New Britain, LLC, will pay the mother $19,500 and modify its website to state that families with children are welcome. Green New Britain, LLC, also agreed to amend its advertising policy to clearly state that families with children are welcome, modify its leasing procedures to ensure that families with children are treated fairly, and have staff attend fair housing training.
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) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed at www.hud.gov/fairhousing or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple and Android devices.
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