HUD No. 07-185
December 19, 2007
HUD SETTLES DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS AGAINST MANAGERS OF ST. LOUIS APARTMENT COMPLEX
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced a $170,000 settlement with managers of a St. Louis apartment complex for alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act. Seven families claimed the managers of the Ridge Crest Apartments subjected them to stricter community rules than residents without children and/or retaliated against them for exercising their fair housing rights.
The seven families claimed Ridge Crest Apartments generally required families to keep their children inside and maintained a policy that "a parent or adult must supervise young children at all times when playing outside." Notices of lease violations, verbal warnings, and the enforcement of the policy indicated that the complex applied the policy to anyone under 18 years of age.
Management at Ridge Crest Apartments routinely threatened tenants with eviction for allowing their children to play outside unsupervised and at least one tenant was unlawfully evicted.
"We understand how managers can feel the need to maintain order at a property, but families with children shouldn't be subjected to rules and policies that other residents are not required to abide by," said Kim Kendrick, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "That kind of treatment not only prevents families from fully enjoying their homes, it also violates the Fair Housing Act."
Under the settlement agreement, Ridge Crest's management will pay $83,000 to the seven families and establish a $15,000 fund for any additional victims. The property will also spend $72,000 over the next two years to create an after-school program for children who live at the complex. In addition, the operators of Ridge Crest Apartments will modify their community rules and enforcement practices to comply with the Fair Housing Act, and establish a tenants' council to give residents the opportunity to discuss mutual issues of concern and provide input into how the property is managed.
HUD and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate approximately 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). Additional information is available at www.hud.gov/fairhousing. Stay on top of the most up-to-date news regarding the Fair Housing Act by signing up for the FHEO RSS Feed.