Michigan Communities Settle Claims of Discriminating Against Families with Children
The owners and operators of seven Michigan communities recently agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging that they discriminated against families with children by prohibiting them from renting one-bedroom units. Under the settlement, the communities agreed to pay $20,000 into a settlement fund, along with a $5,000 civil penalty, and to eliminate the alleged restrictions.
The allegations were based on evidence gathered by a fair housing advocacy group, which sent testers posing as prospective residents contact the defendants and ask to rent one-bedroom apartments. Allegedly, the testers who said that they wanted to rent an apartment with their child were told that children were not allowed in one-bedroom units.
“Housing provides a critical foundation for economic security and opportunity,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “Families with children deserve access to housing that meets their needs without facing unlawful discrimination. The Justice Department will continue to enforce the Fair Housing Act to ensure that families with children have the same rights to housing within their price range as people without children.”