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HUD Dishes Out More Than $24,000 in Fines for Discriminatory Condo Listings

NationalMortgageProfessional.com
Jun 30, 2014

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced a Conciliation Agreement between the Connecticut Fair Housing Center (CFHC) and respondents Lil-1 Associates, AllPoints Realty and realtor Lillian Polak. The real estate companies will pay more than $24,000 to settle allegations that they published discriminatory listings and advertisements for condominiums specifying that children were not permitted. The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to sell or rent housing on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status. This includes refusing to allow families with children under 18 unless the property qualifies as housing for older persons.  “Refusing to sell or rent housing to families with children is against the law unless the property meets the very specific requirements of housing for older persons,” said Bryan Greene, HUD's General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to enforce the Fair Housing Act and ensure that real estate brokers and agents do not illegally limit the housing options of families because they have children.” The agreement settles a complaint filed with HUD by CFHC, an organization that receives HUD funding to investigate housing discrimination, alleging that Lil-1, AllPoints and Polak placed internet advertisements and a listing in the Multiple Listing Service that specified that children were not permitted at the advertised condominiums in Plainville, Conn. Respondents also allegedly verbally communicated the policy of prohibiting families with children to a CFHC tester posing as a potential buyer. The condo complex is not housing for older persons. Under the terms of the agreement, the respondents will pay CFHC $24,375.00 in damages. AllPoints also agreed to ensure that its employees attend fair housing training, and to hold itself out as an equal opportunity housing provider in future advertisements. The company also agreed to inform any property owners seeking to list rentals or sales with limitations against families with children that doing so is a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Lil-1 Associates has ceased operations.
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