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.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Common But Illegal: Bedroom-Sharing Restrictions Limit Families' Housing Choices

On Monday, I wrote an article for About.com on bedroom-sharing restrictions that violate the Fair Housing Act's (FHA) ban on familial status discrimination. The point of the article is that while landlords may need to enforce state or local occupany requirements, they must leave the details of children's sleeping arrangements to their parents.

Yesterday, a CBS report on housing discrimination in southern Florida reveals that this form of familial-status discrimination is alive and well.

According to the report, a mother with a two-bedroom housing voucher wanted to rent such an apartment at a complex in North Lauderdale. But the landlord allegedly insisted that she rent a three-bedroom apartment instead. Letting the mother and her two children occupy a two-bedroom apartment would mean either the children would have to share a bedroom with each other or the mother would have to share a bedroom with one of her children, arrangements which the landlord presumably wanted to prevent.

A local fair housing agency investigating the case noted that several apartment complexes in the area have attempted to impose such bedroom-sharing restrictions on new tenants. While not as direct as an outright refusal to rent to families with children, these restrictions are discriminatory because they limit families' choices, leading them either to pay more for an apartment or delay their search.

1 comment:

Annamarie said...

Interesting and appalling. One bedroom per one child is not a standard that many people can manage, especially with housing costs what they are.