Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fair Housing Month: DOJ Settles Two Familial Status Cases

April's not yet over, but the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has so far settled two familial status cases this Fair Housing Month.

One case is in North Dakota and the other in Rhode Island, but both disputes involve parties that allegedly adopted a formal policy against providing housing to families with children, in clear violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

In the North Dakota case, a condominium complex, unit owners, and a realtor refused to sell or rent to families with children under 14, according to the complaint dated September 8, 2009. The DOJ signed a partial consent order with the unit owners, dated April 8, 2010, in which they agree to pay $7,500 in damages to an aggrieved family and a $2,500 civil penalty.

In Rhode Island, the owner of a single-family house refused to rent to at least two families with children. According to the complaint, the owner even explained to an investigator from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that she "has the right not to rent to families with children." In signing a consent order, also dated April 8, 2010, the owner now agrees to pay $9,500 in damages to two single mothers who were turned away because of their children.

Return tomorrow for the twentieth part of this special "Fair Housing Month" feature at Fairhousingblog.com.

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