Firm agrees to pay $9,000 and market its units to families with children
WASHINGTON, DC WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 25, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that Scott Walker and his company Premiere Real Estate, LLC, in Concord, New Hampshire, have agreed to pay $9,000 to settle allegations that they refused to rent to families with children in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
“The days of ‘no children allowed’ are long over,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “For 25 years, the federal Fair Housing Act has guaranteed families with children the same rights to housing as those without children, and HUD will continue to take swift enforcement action against individuals and housing providers who violate those rights.”
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on familial status, including denying housing to families because they have children under the age of 18.
HUD issued a charge of discrimination after a single mother with a 14-year-old child filed a complaint alleging that Walker and Premiere Real Estate refused her request to rent a two-bedroom apartment. The apartment is on the second floor of a two-unit building. Walker uses the first floor unit as his office. HUD’s charge asserted that when the woman inquired about the unit, Walker informed her that families with children didn’t work out in the past because his business is below the rental unit. Walker and Premiere Real Estate allegedly screened applicants and showed available apartments only to persons who did not have children.
Under the terms of the Consent Order, Scott Walker and Premiere Real Estate LLC agreed to pay $3,000 to the single mother and a $5,000 civil penalty to the government. In addition, they will pay $1,000 to three other victims affected by the company’s rental policy. Walker also agreed to take steps to market his apartments to families with children.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD. or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.