WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it reached an agreement with the owner and manager of a California apartment complex, resolving allegations they discriminated against tenants because of their national origin and familial status. Two related complaints filed with HUD alleged that the manager of the Four Palms Apartments in Mountain View, California, made discriminatory statements about Latino residents and prohibited their children from playing outside. Read the Conciliation Agreement.
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The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in rental, sales or home lending transactions based on a person’s national origin or familial status. This includes discrimination based on a person’s ancestry or country of birth, and discrimination against families with children under the age of 18.
“A family’s right to enjoy their home shouldn’t depend on where they are from or whether they have children,” said Bryan Greene, HUD’s General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD is committed to taking action to ensure the policies and practices of housing providers follow the law.”
The case came to HUD’s attention when two Latino couples that live at the Four Palms Apartments filed a complaint alleging that the owner and the manager of the complex discriminated against them because of their national origin and because they have children. In addition, Project Sentinel, a Santa Clara, California-based fair housing group, filed a complaint on behalf of the residents, alleging that the manager of Four Palms Apartments repeatedly made statements indicating that he did not like having Latino tenants at the property because they did not speak English, and accusing them of bringing pests, including bed bugs and rats, to the property.
Project Sentinel further alleged that the manager prohibited children from playing at the property, enforced overly restrictive rules that singled out children, and terminated the lease of one of the Latino families that filed a complaint after their two-year-old daughter became agitated and cried loudly when the manager walked by the family’s door.
Under the Conciliation Agreement, the owner will pay a total of $20,000 and revise the Four Palm’s rules to comply with the Fair Housing Act. In addition, the property’s manager will complete fair housing training.
People who believe they have experienced housing 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 by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing, or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple and Android devices.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet
at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.