Florida HOA Accused of Discriminating Against Family with Six Children
HUD recently charged a Florida homeowners association (HOA) and its former management company with violating the Fair Housing Act by subjecting a family to different rental terms and conditions because they have six children.
According to the HUD charge, the family was told that they had too many people living in their rental townhouse and that they would be evicted if they didn’t reduce the number of occupants based on an occupancy policy that permitted only six people to live in a four-bedroom home. Although the family eventually moved out, HUD said that the occupancy policy remains in place.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to deny housing or impose different rental terms and conditions based on disability, race, national origin, color, religion, sex, or familial status. Overly restrictive occupancy policies may unlawfully discriminate against families with children by preventing them from living in a home, according to HUD.
HUD alleged that the community’s occupancy policy prevents a significant percentage of Florida families from living in its housing. The applicable county occupancy ordinance permits up to 11 occupants in the townhome, according to HUD.
“Homeowners associations and management companies have an obligation to ensure that their occupancy standards do not violate the Fair Housing Act,” John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “HUD is committed to taking action against anyone who unlawfully denies housing to families because of the number of children in the family.”