Texas Complex Accused of Illegally Restricting Children

HUD recently charged the current and former owners and managers of a 61-unit complex in Texas with violating fair housing law by imposing overly restrictive rules on children under 16 who lived there. Federal fair housing law prohibits housing discrimination based on familial status, including setting rules that discriminate against families with children.

Specifically, HUD’s charge alleges that the community’s rules discriminated against families by prohibiting children under the age of 16 from being in their home without an adult, using the laundry facilities without an adult present, using the pool without an adult present, or using their scooters or bikes on the street and parking lots without an adult. HUD’s charge also alleged that residents were told that parking lots were not to be used as playgrounds and that if children were left playing “in the street” with bikes or scooters, they would be given a 24-hour notice to vacate.

“Instituting rules that limit the activities of daily life for families with children violates the Fair Housing Act,” Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “The Fair Housing Act protects the rights of families to enjoy their homes free from unreasonable restrictions on their children.”

HUD’s charge will be heard by an administrative law judge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal court.