Take the Fair Housing challenge
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But what exactly does familial status mean? In a nutshell, landlords and sellers can't refuse to rent or sell to a household with children and they can't set alternate terms for leasing or selling. Doing so violates federal Fair Housing laws.
According to the National Fair Housing Alliance, "Familial status" means having a child under age 18 in the household, whether living with a parent, a legal custodian, or their designee. It also covers a woman who is pregnant, and people in the process of adopting or gaining custody of child/children.
Look for these signs of housing discrimination against families with children:
- Allowing only one child per bedroom
- Charging a higher security deposit for families with kids
- Limiting families with children to the first floor or certain buildings
- Refusing to rent to families with children
Why is Familial Status a protected class? According to HUD's recent press release kicking off the month:
"Every type of discrimination robs individuals and families of their right to choose where to live, but one form of discrimination HUD is particularly active in addressing is discrimination against families with children, known as familial status discrimination. Each year, approximately 12 percent of complaints are filed with HUD alleging this type of discrimination. State and local fair housing groups that partner with HUD in fighting discrimination also describe familial status discrimination as being one of their priority areas, as anecdotal evidence shows that it is often a proxy for race discrimination. In addition to the loss of housing, this type of discrimination has a destabilizing effect that prevents families from positioning themselves in ways that enable the next generation to take advantage of all this country has to offer."
Learn more about Fair Housing at www.hud.gov/fairhousing. Call HUD to report housing discrimination at 1-800-669-9777 or report online.
California Laws protect individuals from housing discrimination based on:
Does discrimination against households with children still occur? As it turns out, the most common Fair Housing violation found on the internet was discrimination against families with children, according to a report by the National Fair Housing Alliance on internet housing advertisements.
It only takes a few clicks to find examples online. Clearly there is a lot more work to be done to educate others, landlords in particular. If you see postings like the ones above, be sure to let the landlord know it's not ok to discriminate against household with children or marital status.