HUD: Minn. Homeowners and Agent Refused to Rent to Family on Discriminatory Grounds

HUD recently charged the owners of a house in Beltrami County, Minn., and their real estate agent with discrimination for refusing to rent the house to a family because of their race, national origin, and minor children.

HUD’s charge alleges that the owners refused to rent a 7,000 square foot, six-bedroom house to a family of four adults and seven children because of their race (Native American) and national origin (Hispanic), and because the family has minor children. The charge further alleges that the owner and real estate agent discouraged the family from renting the home by offering them less favorable rental terms, including increasing the rent by $1,000. After being denied the home, the family had to split up and live in separate residences, according to HUD.

HUD’s charge will be heard by a U.S. administrative law judge unless any party elects for the case to be heard in federal court. 

“Denying housing to a family because of their race and national origin and because they have children not only robs them of a place to call home, it violates this nation’s housing laws,” Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “Today’s action reaffirms HUD’s commitment to taking action to protect the right of families to obtain the housing of their choice, free from discrimination.”