|HUD No. 12-112
July 9, 2012
HUD CHARGES MINNESOTA CONDO ASSOCIATION, MANAGEMENT COMPANY WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
Adult-only policy allegedly excluded families with children
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging a Minnetonka, MN, condominium association and its management company, Gassen Company, Inc., with violating the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against families with children under the age of 18. According to HUD's charge, Greenbrier Village Condominium III Association allegedly maintained a policy prohibiting families with children under 18 from living in the building.
The Fair Housing Act, a federal law that protects civil rights in housing, prohibits housing providers, including condominium associations, from denying housing to families with children under the age of 18, unless they meet the federal standards to be housing for older persons.
"Condo associations that don't meet federal requirements as housing for older persons don't have the right to turn away families with children," said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, the Office charged with enforcing the Fair Housing Act. "HUD will continue to take action against homeowners associations that violate the Fair Housing Act by imposing restrictive residency policies."
HUD's charge alleges that the condominium association's residency policy, which stated that "no apartment may be sold, leased or rented to any person who has a child under the age of 18," prevented the owner of a condominium at Greenbrier Village from leasing the unit to several families with children, including a couple on whose behalf the charge was issued.
HUD's 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 those persons injured by the discrimination. In addition, the judge may impose a penalty of up to $16,000 to vindicate the public interest. The judge may also order injunctive and other equitable relief to deter further discrimination, as well as payment of attorney fees. 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 http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDgov, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.