The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has charged a Gibsonton, Fla.-based homeowners association (HOA) and its Tampa-based former management company with violating the Fair Housing Act by subjecting a family to different rental terms and conditions because the household has six children.
HUD's charge alleges that Townhomes of Kings Lake Homeowners Association Inc. and Vanguard Management Group Inc., violated the Fair Housing Act by telling the family there were too many people living in the rental townhouse and threatening to evict them if they didn't reduce the number of occupants based on an occupancy policy that permitted only six people to live in a four-bedroom home. HUD adds that overly restrictive occupancy policies may unlawfully discriminate against families with children by preventing them from living in a home.
HUD also notes that its investigation revealed that Kings Lake HOA's occupancy policy prevents a significant percentage of Florida families from living in its housing. The occupancy ordinance in Hillsborough County, which includes Gibsonton, would permit up to 11 occupants in the townhome.
‘Homeowners associations and management companies have an obligation to ensure that their occupancy standards do not violate the Fair Housing Act,’ says John Trasvina, HUD assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity. ‘HUD is committed to taking action against anyone who unlawfully denies housing to families because of the number of children in the family.’