Colorado Community Accused of Discriminating Against Families with Children
The Justice Department recently filed a lawsuit against the owners and manager of a 28-unit apartment complex in Colorado, accusing them of housing discrimination against families with children. The complaint alleged that the community implemented a policy of generally not allowing families with children to live in the front building, while generally restricting them to units in the rear building instead.
“Apartment owners cannot limit where children live in their apartment complexes,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “If an apartment is within their budget and meets their needs, the family, not the landlord, should be able to decide whether it is appropriate for them.”
The lawsuit arose from a HUD complaint filed by a private fair housing organization, which sent testers posing as prospective renters to the community. The complaint alleged that the property manager told testers that families with children were generally placed in units in the rear building, and didn’t offer prospective renters with children the opportunity to consider available units in the front building.
“Families looking for a safe place to call home shouldn’t have that housing limited to certain units of a complex,” HUD Assistant Secretary Gustavo Velasquez of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity said in a statement. “That kind of steering is not only unfair—it is against the law. HUD will continue to work with the Justice Department to take action when the rental policies of housing providers violate the rights of families with children.”