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Families with Children

  In the news
Columbus apartment owner settles family discrimination complaint
    The Columbus Dispatch reports. "The complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said TGM discriminated against families with children by enforcing an occupancy policy of no more than two people per bedroom in each apartment, regardless of square footage or whether the apartment had additional space that could be used as a bedroom. 'A den could serve as a sleeping area,” said Jim McCarthy, the president and CEO of the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center, which is based in Dayton and serves central Ohio.' [ ] The groups reached a $195,000 settlement with TGM, which paid for attorney fees and costs; money was distributed among the three fair-housing groups, McCarthy said."
It's not a bedroom is a well established defense against renting to families with children. Often it's called a sunroom, a home office, or a den. Problem is: it doesn't work
Discrimination against families with children is illegal under the Federal and State Fair Housing laws. 

Rules for children in rental housing may be discrimination
It's pretty common for apartment developments to have rules for children.  Advocates have long recognized that distinguishing between adult and child behavior is a gray area in discrimination law.  In two recent settlements, HUD seems to be offering some guidance.  HUD TAKES ACTION IN CALIFORNIA AND KANSAS CASES WHERE HOSTILE APARTMENT RULES AGAINST CHILDREN INCLUDED NO PLAYING OUTSIDE.  "Overly restrictive" rules seems to be the standard for when rules become discriminatory.  Maybe this sounds familiar to some of you?  "According to HUD’s charge, the property’s policies allegedly required children to be supervised by an adult at all times and prohibited youth from playing anywhere on the property except the playground. The rules also allegedly prohibited kids from playing any team sports on the property, and from riding bicycles, skateboards, or scooters on the property. One of the affected families was a single mother who had a 14-year-old son. When she complained that her son was essentially on “lockdown,” the management office allegedly refused to renew the family’s lease in retaliation. A United States Administrative Law Judge will hear the charge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court."
read more at:  http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2014/HUDNo_14-125

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