HUD No. 10-245
October 21, 2010
HUD CHARGES MISSISSIPPI OWNERS AND NEWSPAPER WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
Says family status discrimination has doubled since 2006
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that it is charging Gulf Coast, MS, Penny Pincher, Inc., and Precious Properties, the owners of a house in Biloxi, MS, with violating the Fair Housing Act by publishing an advertisement that discriminated against families with children. The ad, which was brought to HUD's attention by Gulf Coast Fair Housing Center, included language that stated "no children."
The Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex,
disability and familial status. This includes publishing print, broadcast or internet advertisements that indicate a preference or otherwise discriminates against families with children. "Since 2006, family status discrimination cases
on HUD's docket have doubled," said John Trasviña, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal
Opportunity. "Family status discrimination is illegal and unacceptable. We will bring these cases and protect a
family's ability to choose where they want to reside."
The HUD charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he may award damages to aggrieved persons for the damages caused them by the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief to deter further discrimination, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose fines in order to vindicate the public interest. If the matter is decided in federal court, the judge may also award punitive damages to aggrieved persons.
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate more than 10,000 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at
(800) 669-9777 (voice), (800) 927-9275 (TTY).
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.