HUD recently announced that it has approved an agreement between the owners and managers of a Las Vegas mobile home park and a family to settle allegations that they refused to allow an elderly woman’s son and his pregnant wife to live at the property after their child was born. Under the agreement, the owner and managers agreed to pay a $15,000 settlement to the elderly woman.
The case came to HUD’s attention when the elderly resident filed a complaint alleging that the owners and managers of the property required her son and daughter-in-law, who were also her live-in caretakers, to vacate the property after they found out that her daughter-in-law was pregnant. She alleged that the community improperly claimed to be housing for older persons.
Federal fair housing law prohibits communities from denying or limiting housing to families with children, including pregnant women. Housing providers may exclude families with children under the age of 18 if the property meets the requirements to qualify as senior housing under the Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995. To qualify for the “housing for older persons” exemption, a community operating as housing for persons who are 55 years of age or older must satisfy each of the following requirements:
- At least 80 percent of the occupied units must have at least one occupant who is 55 years of age or older;
- The community must publish and adhere to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent to operate as “55 or older” housing; and
- The community must comply with HUD’s regulatory requirements for age verification of residents.
“Landlords and property owners have an obligation to treat every applicant the same, including pregnant women and families with young children,” Gustavo Velasquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “Housing providers may not exclude pregnant women and children under 18 unless the housing meets all requirements for exempt housing for older persons.”