Restrictive child rules may violate Fair Housing Act
WASHINGTON – May 9, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it reached an agreement with the owners and managers of a Denver-area apartment complex to resolve allegations that they discriminated against families in the way they restricted outdoor play for children.
Under the terms of the conciliation agreement, the owner and management company of The Orchards at Cherry Creek Apartments in Centennial agree to construct a $10,000 accessible playground on the property and require employees to attend fair housing training.
"A requirement of constant parental supervision of all minors, and even teenagers, is oppressive, unnecessary and unfairly burdensome on families with children," says Bryan Greene, HUD's Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "The Fair Housing Act protects the rights of families with children to enjoy the same housing amenities that others do."
A notice published in the complex's monthly newsletter set the following rule:
"All children must be supervised by an adult at all times while playing outside. No sports activities, skateboarding, roller-blading, or general extracurricular activities are to take place in our community. If we see anyone violating any of the above activities or see any unsupervised children, they will be sent home immediately."
Under the terms of the agreement with The Orchards, property managers will design and build the play area, which will be accessible to persons with disabilities, within six months; all employees will undergo fair housing training within a year; and the company will amend its policies to comply with the Fair Housing Act regarding familial status and distribute the new rules to employees and residents.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. This includes setting restrictive rules on families with children.
Fair housing complaints may be submitted online through the Fair Housing page of HUD's website, or by calling (800) 669-9777, TTY (800) 927-9275. HUD also has a mobile app that can be downloaded.
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