Connecticut Landlords Settle HUD Discrimination Complaint

HUD recently announced that a group of Connecticut landlords has agreed to resolve complaints alleging discrimination against families with children. According to the complaint, the owners and their on-site property manager allegedly refused to rent a two-bedroom apartment to a single mother and her two young children.

The case came to HUD’s attention when a single mother of 4-year-old twin boys filed a complaint claiming that the community denied her the opportunity to rent a two-bedroom unit because she has children. She alleged that, after learning that she has two sons, the property manager told her that there would be some clean-up involved and that he would get back to her—but he never did. Two weeks later, the woman’s mother allegedly called the property manager on her daughter’s behalf. When the mother reminded him that her daughter has two children, the manager allegedly said that he would need to consult with his wife, who wouldn’t be back in town for two weeks.

Suspecting discrimination, the woman then asked her cousin to call about the unit. Allegedly, the property manager asked who would be living there and that when the cousin said it was for her and her husband, he offered to show her the unit the next day.

Among other things, the settlement requires the community to pay the mother $19,500 and to modify its website and advertising policy to clearly state that families with children are welcome.

“When a property owner refuses to show an available unit to a family because they have children, they’re not only denying them a housing opportunity, they’re violating the law,” Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “No one should have to hide who they are or who their family is while looking for a place to live. This agreement reaffirms HUD’s commitment to ensuring that housing providers treat all applicants the same, regardless of gender, race or family status.”