The federal Fair Housing Act Amendments prohibit housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin and familial status. The owners of several mobile home parks used the word “adult” in the names of their parks. Their park rules also restrict minors below age 18 from using certain park facilities without adult supervision and totally prohibit use of other areas, such as the billiard room.
The federal government brought this lawsuit against the mobile home park owners, seeking a declaration that the park rules violate the FHAA and are discriminatory against families residing in the mobile home parks.
Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.
But the owners point to a conciliation agreement they made with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That agreement, the owners explain, reasonably established park rules for the benefit and enjoyment of all the residents.
IF YOU WERE THE JUDGE would you rule the mobile home park rules, regulating supervision and use of park facilities by minors, are discriminatory based on familial status?
The judge said yes!
This case has two primary issues, the judge began. One involves the park rules, which require supervision of minor children by adults when using certain facilities, and totally prohibiting their use by minors, such as the billiard room, he continued. The second issue involves the use of the word “adult” in the names of the parks, he added.
As for establishing age restrictions on the use of the park facilities by minors, the judge explained, those limitations clearly violate the FHAA. The FHAA applies not only to occupancy, but to use of the premises, he noted.
In addition, use of the word “adult” in the names of the parks shows illegal “steering” discrimination because it illegally discourages families from applying for occupancy in the parks, the judge emphasized.
As for the HUD conciliation agreement with the park owners “It is the court, not HUD, that is the final arbiter in determining whether the rules are in compliance with the Fair Housing Act or the FHAA,” the judge ruled. The age restrictions and use of the word “adult” in the park names shall be prohibited, the judge concluded.
Based on the 2003 U.S. District Court decision in U.S. v. Plaza Mobile Estates, 273 Fed.Supp.2d 1084.
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