Texas Landlords Charged with Race Discrimination

HUD recently charged a Texas couple with violating fair housing law by refusing to lease a room to a prospective tenant because she’s black.

HUD’s charge alleged that in advertising on Craigslist for a room in a five-bedroom house, the husband required applicants to identify their race and submit a photograph of themselves. When the prospect contacted the husband about renting the room, he allegedly reiterated his request for a picture or “selfie.” Even though she refused, the prospect said that he later agreed to meet her at the house, but when he saw that she was black, he allegedly refused to show her the room, stating that her race would make his wife and the other residents uncomfortable.

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

“A person’s race should never determine whether or not they have access to a place to call home,” Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “Today’s action reflects HUD’s ongoing commitment to taking appropriate action when the Fair Housing Act has been violated.”