Landlord Must Build Playground

 A Denver landlord has agreed to build a $10,000 play area for his tenants’ children in order to settle a discrimination claim.

HUD, which prosecuted the case, announced that the owners and managers of the metro-area apartment complex have agreed to construct an accessible playground on the property in order to resolve the allegations that they discriminated against families when they refused to allow children to play outside.

The complaint alleged that the apartment complex unfairly restricted the activities of children. A notice published in the complexs monthly newsletter set the following rule:

“All children must be supervised by an adult at all times while playing outside. No sports activities, skateboarding, roller-blading, or general extracurricular activities are to take place in our community. If we see anyone violating any of the above activities or see any unsupervised children they will be sent home immediately.”

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. This includes setting restrictive rules on families with children.

“A requirement of constant parental supervision of all minors, and even teenagers, is oppressive, unnecessary, and unfairly burdensome on families with children” said Bryan Greene, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “The Fair Housing Act protects the rights of families with children to enjoy the same housing amenities that others do.”

Under the terms of the agreement, property managers will design and build the play area, which will be accessible to persons with disabilities, within six months; all employees will undergo fair housing training within a year; and the company will amend its policies to comply with the Fair Housing Act regarding familial status and distribute the new rules to employees and residents.

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