RALEIGH, March 31, 2020 – Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Fair Housing Project has recently resolved housing discrimination complaints brought by a family of three who was denied housing at three different apartment complexes in Greensboro. The complaints alleged discrimination against families with children due to overly restrictive occupancy policies at the properties.
As part of the settlements, two apartment communities each paid $12,500 and the third paid $24,500 to compensate the family for their losses, and for attorneys’ fees and costs. In addition, the complexes have adopted occupancy policies that are consistent with the Greensboro ordinance regarding occupancy standards. Employees will also complete fair housing training.
The family was represented by Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Fair Housing Project. The cases were filed with the city’s Human Relations Department in December 2018 and January 2019. Fair housing testing conducted by the Fair Housing Project confirmed the family’s allegation that these properties would only allow up to two people to rent a one-bedroom unit. The complaints further alleged that the units sought by the family were large enough for a family of three under the local Greensboro occupancy code.
Lauren Brasil, a staff attorney with the Fair Housing Project who represented the family, said, “The Fair Housing Project is committed to ensuring that families with children have an equal opportunity to housing. Overly restrictive occupancy standards—those that are more restrictive than a reasonable local occupancy code or that fail to consider the size and configuration of the unit—may violate fair housing laws. Families should not be forced into more expensive housing than is necessary because of unlawful housing discrimination.”
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status.
More from this Newsletter Issue: Spring 2020
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