|HUD No. 12-186
November 29, 2012
HUD CHARGES MINNESOTA CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION AND PROPERTY MANAGERS WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
CHICAGO - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging the homeowner association and property managers for an Edina, MN, condominium building with housing discrimination. HUD claims that they refused to allow children under the age of 18 to live at the property.
According to HUD's charge, 7000 Sandell Condominium Association, Inc., its property management company, New Concepts Management Group, Inc., and the property's off-site manager, Paul L. Bonzonie, violated the Fair Housing Act when they maintained a policy prohibiting children who are minors from living in the building, even though the property did not meet the federal qualifications to be housing for older persons.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers, including condominium associations, from denying housing to families with children under the age of 18, unless the housing meets the federal standards to be housing for older persons.
"Denying a family's right to have their children live in their home is against the law," said HUD's Region V Administrator Antonio R. Riley. "HUD is committed to taking action against housing providers who unlawfully deny housing to families because they have children."
HUD's charge alleges that the condominium association and its property managers discriminated against the owners of a unit in the building when they notified the owners that they were violating the association's Declaration for Condominium by allowing their minor children to live with them for more than 30 days in a calendar year, levied fines against the owners, and initiated a lawsuit in Minnesota state court in an effort to keep the owners' children from living with them. HUD's charge further alleges that the condominium association failed to meet the federal requirements to qualify as housing for older persons because the association failed to formally and routinely verify the ages of the complex's residents.
A United States Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will hear HUD's charge. If the ALJ finds after an administrative hearing that discrimination has occurred, the ALJ may award damages to the complainants. In addition, the ALJ may impose fines to vindicate the public interest, order injunctive and other equitable relief to deter further discrimination, and require payment of attorney fees.
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate approximately 10,000 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777 (voice).
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.