We are very pleased to announce the resolution of two complaints based on familial status discrimination, in violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act. These resolutions ensure a future with many more housing opportunities with families with children.
Both complaints were filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and alleged that the respondents engaged in systemic discrimination against families with children across properties in multiple states by enforcing overly-restrictive occupancy policies of no more than two people per bedroom regardless of a unit’s square footage. Through the use of testing, both investigations determined that most floor plans were large enough under state and local law to accommodate more occupants than the “two person per bedroom” rule enforced by the agents. HUD did not make a determination on the merits of the allegations in either case.
The first resolution was from a complaint filed against Management Resources Development, Inc. (MRD), in partnership the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. MRD is a property management and construction company with its headquarters in East Lansing that owns and/or manages over 9,000 properties in 10 states.
This summer we entered into a conciliation agreement in which MRD agreed to pay $45,000 for both Fair Housing Centers’ costs and damages, change their occupancy policy so that it is no more restrictive than the applicable local occupancy codes, and train their employees and agents on fair housing laws and responsibilities, along with other terms to ensure compliance with fair housing laws.
The second resolution was from a complaint filed in partnership with the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit, The Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan, and the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan against Monarch Investment & Management Group. Monarch is a company with over 43,000 apartments in twenty states, including 36 properties in Michigan.
In September, the parties entered into a conciliation agreement with terms much like the MRD case, but with a total of $130,000 for the Michigan Fair Housing Centers’ costs and damages.
We know these settlements will make a huge difference in the lives of families searching for a place to live. Thank you for continuing to help us make Michigan home for all people.