HUD: Owner Discriminated Based on Number of Children
In a recent HUD case, a single mom was denied housing for having too many children.
HUD is charging a Las Vegas real estate broker and two homeowners with violating the Fair Housing Act by denying a mother of seven the opportunity to rent a four-bedroom home because they thought she had too many children. According to HUD, a single mother of four, who was in the process of adopting three foster children, sought to rent a four-bedroom house. Upon receiving her application, the leasing agent allegedly stated that the owner would allow a maximum of five children, even though the house could easily accommodate eight residents.
“Policies that unreasonably limit the number of people who can live in a home discriminate against families with children and violate the federal Fair Housing Act,” said John Trasvina, HUD's assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on family status, including discrimination based on the number of children in a household.
If the judge finds that discrimination has occurred, he may award the woman damages and impose civil penalties on the owner.