Calif. Community Settles Claims of Discriminating Against Latino Families

HUD recently announced that the owner and manager of a California apartment complex has settled allegations of discrimination against residents based on their national origin and familial status. Among other things, the community’s manager was accused of making discriminatory statements about Latino residents and prohibiting their children from playing outside.

Federal fair housing law 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.

The case came to HUD’s attention when two Latino couples 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, a fair housing group filed a complaint on behalf of the residents, alleging that the community’s manager repeatedly made statements indicating that he didn’t like having Latino tenants at the property because they didn’t speak English, and accusing them of bringing pests, including bed bugs and rats, to the property.

The complaints also 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 agreement, the community will pay a $20,000 settlement, revise the community’s rules to comply with fair housing law, and provide the property’s manager with fair housing training.

“A family’s right to enjoy their home shouldn’t depend on where they are from or whether they have children,” Bryan Greene, HUD’s General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “HUD is committed to taking action to ensure the policies and practices of housing providers follow the law.”