April 2011 Coach's Quiz
We have given you eight rules to help you avoid discrimination claims based on familial status. Now let's look at how the rules might apply in the real world. Take the COACH's Quiz to see what you have learned.
INSTRUCTIONS: Each of the following questions has only one correct answer. On a separate piece of paper, write down the number of each question, followed by the answer you think is correct—for example, 1)b, 2)a, and so on. The correct answers (with explanations) follow the quiz. Good luck!
A married couple responds to an ad for a vacant one-bedroom unit in your community. When they arrive at your office, you are surprised to see that the wife is visibly pregnant. You are concerned that a crying baby will disturb long-time elderly neighbors. What should you do?
Tell them that your community doesn't permit children under 14 to live there.
Explain that they aren't eligible for a one-bedroom unit because the imminent addition to their family would put them over your occupancy standard of two persons per bedroom.
Suggest that they would prefer another vacant unit in a building reserved for families with children.
Offer to show them the unit and any others that may fit their needs.
The unmarried mother of three young boys inquires about a two-bedroom unit in your community. During your meeting, the woman indicates that she receives child support from each of the boys' fathers. Although you personally disapprove of her lifestyle, you believe it raises legitimate concerns about her character and ability to properly manage three young boys on her own. Since those are good reasons for turning her away, you could not be accused of discrimination based on familial status. True or false?
Coach's Answers and Explanations
Correct answer: d
Reason: Rules #1, #4, #5 and #8 apply here:
Rule #1: Don't Adopt Adults-Only Policies
Rule #4: Apply Reasonable Occupancy Standards
Rule #5: Don't Restrict Families with Children to Certain Areas in the Community
Rule #8: Don't Discriminate Against Residents
for Adding a Child to the Household
The FHA's ban on discrimination based on familial status protects pregnant women as well as families with children. To avoid a fair housing complaint, you should offer to show them the advertised unit and any others that may fit their needs.
Wrong answers explained:
Unless your community qualifies as housing for older persons, it is unlawful discrimination based on familial status to adopt or apply a policy to exclude children under 18.
Communities may not use overly restrictive occupancy policies to exclude families with children. Although HUD generally considers two people per bedroom to be a reasonable occupancy standard, the agency recognizes that it may be reasonable to exceed that number based on circumstances, including the age of a child. In addition, some state or local laws do not count children under a certain age in applying occupancy restrictions.
Steering families with children to certain areas or buildings within the community would amount to unlawful discrimination based on familial status.
Correct answer: b
Reason: Rules #2 and #7 apply here:
Rule #2: Don't Exclude Children Out of Safety, Liability Concerns
Rule #7: Ensure Community Rules Don't Unfairly Target Children
Fair housing law protects individuals—married or single—living with one child or more under 18, so you could be accused of discrimination based on familial status if you turn the family away. Disapproval of the applicant's lifestyle is not a legitimate reason to jump to conclusions about her character or ability to raise the children on her own. Rather, you should apply your standard screening procedures, and if she qualifies, explain and enforce rules governing resident behavior if her young boys get out of hand.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|What's a Family? Complying with the Law in Light of Changing Family Structures|