|HUD No. 10-175
August 11, 2010
HUD CHARGES PENNSYLVANIA PROPERTY OWNERS AND MANAGERS WITH HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
Bucks County landlords allegedly refused to rent to single mother because she had a child
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging several Bristol, Pennsylvania property owners and their management company with housing discrimination for refusing to rent a one-bedroom apartment to a mother and her seven-year-old daughter. According to HUD's charge, managers and owners Quality Realty Associates and Vincent Quattrocchi, and owners Louis Quattrocchi and Cecilia Quattrocchi, violated the Fair Housing Act by turning away the mother because they did not permit children to live at their 26 apartment units.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. It is illegal to deny housing to families with children under 18 years of age unless the housing qualifies as "housing for older persons."
"HUD stands with a working mother and child, when they are illegally denied housing," said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "The Fair Housing Act protects families with children so they can live in housing of their choice."
HUD alleges that after the Pennsylvania woman inquired about an apartment managed by QRA, Vincent Quattrocchi told her that no children were allowed to reside in the apartment complex. Without other housing options, the mother and daughter eventually moved into a local shelter and were separated while the mother continued to search for an apartment.
Upon receiving the woman's complaint regarding the rental property, the Fair Housing Council of Suburban Pennsylvania, also a complainant in the case, sent four testers to inquire about vacant apartments. All were told that no children were allowed to reside in the apartments that QRA managed. During HUD's investigation, owner Louis Quattrocchi allegedly admitted that in the 30 to 40 years he has owned the properties he has never rented to families with children. Currently, no families live at the properties.
The HUD charge will be heard by an 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 1-800-669-9777 (voice), 800-927-9275 (TTY).
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.