National Management Company Settles Complaint Based on Occupancy Standards

A New-York based property management company recently agreed to settle fair housing claims alleging discrimination against families with children based on enforcement of occupancy standards in five properties in three states.

The settlement resolves a HUD complaint filed by three private fair housing organizations, which accused the company of discrimination by enforcing an occupancy policy of no more than two people per bedroom in each apartment, regardless of the unit’s square footage or whether that unit has a den, office, loft, or other feature that could provide an additional bedroom or living area for a child.

The complaint was based on the results of a fair housing investigation at five properties—one each in Connecticut and Ohio, and three in Indiana. According to the complaint, the testing revealed that all the communities tested applied the overly restrictive occupancy standards, which affected the ability of families with children to find affordable, safe housing in neighborhoods of their choice.

HUD did not make a determination as to the validity of the allegations, and the company denied the allegations and admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to settle the claims by entering into a Conciliation Agreement with HUD and the private fair housing groups.

“Where a family lives dictates the parents’ access to employment, the children’s access to good schools, and the family’s access to grocery stores, healthcare, and other vital services,” Jim McCarthy, President and CEO of the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center, said in a statement. “And so we are very pleased that we were able to reach a resolution of our complaint and thus ensure equal housing opportunities for people throughout our region.”

Source: Miami Valley Fair Housing Center