Upset in Philly
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it is charging the owners of several apartment buildings in Philadelphia for violating Fair Housing by discriminating against families with children.
The HUD charges name Charles and Patricia Trucksess with allegedly:
- Terminating a lease of a single mother illegally because she adopted an 11 year old child.
- Making discriminatory statements that they did not rent to families with children.
- Discouraging families from applying for available units by stating their three bedrooms were only two bedrooms units.
The woman whose lease was terminated mentioned a possibility of adopting a child when she was touring the apartment owned by the Trucksess and was allegedly told by Ms. Trucksess that she’d never rented to a family with children before. The family has since been forced to move.
Over 10,000 fair housing complaints are investigated annually by Fair Housing and after charges are filed, cases go before a legal court.
Familial status and fair housing
While there is little information available about the Trucksess, we located an expired Pennsylvania real estate license held by Patricia Trucksess issued in 1985 which went into “expired” status in 2004.
It is highly unusual for someone who has held a real estate license, especially for so long to not be aware of Fair Housing laws, even though familial status was added to the list of the protected under Fair Housing in 1988, three years after Trucksess originally earned her license, yet 16 years before its expiration.
HUD Asst Secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity, John Trasviña said today, “Adoptive families deserve the same respect and enjoy the same rights as all families in our society. HUD works vigorously to enforce legal protection for families with children.”
Image courtesy of mrhayata on Flickr, CC Licensed.