WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today an agreement resolving allegations that the owners and manager of an apartment complex in Littleton, Colorado, discriminated against families with children and people with disabilities. The voluntary conciliation agreement settles a complaint brought by Denver Metro Fair Housing Center against owners George and Helen Turk, along with their property management company, Katchen & Company, Inc., who were accused of having a ‘no kids’ policy and limiting housing options for persons with disabilities. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing-related transactions, based on disability and familial status. This landmark law specifically protects families with children under 18 and requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.
“Families with children and residents with disabilities have a hard enough time finding housing that meets their needs without having to face unlawful discrimination,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue working with our partners to make certain housing providers meet their obligations under the Fair Housing Act.”
The matter came to HUD’s attention when Denver Metro Fair Housing Center (DMFHC) and a Denver-area family with children filed complaints alleging that the owners and manager of Langford Apartments discriminated against families with children. The fair housing group complaint alleged that a man looking for an apartment for himself, his wife, and his toddler son responded to a Craigslist ad for a unit at the complex and was told by the on-site manager, who was employed by Katchen & Company, Inc., that Langford Apartments did not rent to families with children.
In subsequent tests conducted by the DMFHC, another on-site manager allegedly told a tester, “no kids,” and “we don’t accept children.” The manager also allegedly told a tester posing as a deaf person that “we don’t allow service animals,” and “if you’re deaf I don’t think this is the place for you.”
Under the agreement, the Turks will pay DMFHC and the complaining family $70,000, provide Katchen employees with fair housing training, and establish a company-wide antidiscrimination policy. In addition, future ads for Langford Apartments units will include explicit language encouraging families with children and people with disabilities to apply.
Any person who believes she or he has experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing, or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple and Android devices.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet
at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.