Minnesota Homeowners to Pay $74K Settlement in Housing Discrimination Case

HUD recently announced that the owners of a Minnesota rental home and a realty company have agreed to pay $74,000 to resolve allegations that they refused to rent the house to a family of five adults and six minor children because they are Native American and Hispanic, and had minor children.

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing because of race, national origin, and familial status, among other protected characteristics.

HUD filed a charge of discrimination after the owners of the rental home allegedly refused to rent the six-bedroom residence to the multi-generational family. HUD’s charge alleged that the owners and the real-estate broker discouraged the family from renting the home by offering them less favorable rental terms, including increasing the requested monthly rent by $1,000.

Under the settlement, the respondents agreed to pay $74,000 to the families affected and place a fair housing advertisement in the local newspaper, and the real estate broker will take fair housing and multicultural sensitivity training.

"Denying a family housing because of their ethnicity of familial makeup not only robs them of a place to call home, it violates the law,” Anna María Farías, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement reaffirms HUD’s commitment to protecting the housing rights of families and ensuring that all landlords comply with the Fair Housing Act.”