HOPE files federal lawsuit for housing discrimination against families with children

Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence, Inc. (HOPE) has joined a family denied housing in a federal housing discrimination lawsuit against Centennial Management. After receiving a complaint regarding a couple with children who went to an apartment managed by Centennial with rules limiting the number of people per bedroom, HOPE investigated that complex and thirteen of the company’s other properties in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The investigation revealed that Centennial’s policies and practices restricted apartment occupancy to less than two people per bedroom in many of their developments. This practice tends to make fewer dwellings available to families with children and force them into leasing higher-priced, larger-sized apartments.

The lawsuit filed against Centennial alleges discrimination based on policies that restrict occupancy to less than two persons per bedroom. Such policies violate the Fair Housing Act by making it harder for many families to rent such occupancy-restricted apartments. Families should not have to pay more for housing based on family size when they are entitled, under HUD guidance issued on March 20, 1991, to generally be allowed to rent apartments when their households consist of no more than two people per bedroom.

Keenya Robertson, HOPE President & CEO, said, “Properties like these that receive major tax credits to provide affordable housing opportunities should direct their efforts towards making sure housing opportunities are made to the families who are intended to benefit, and not limit and exclude them.”

The family and HOPE are represented by Attorney Matthew Dietz of Disability Independence Group, Inc. and copies of the lawsuit are available.