BOSTON (WWLP) - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is charging a landlord with housing discrimination, after she allegedly refused to rent a Holyoke apartment to a person with three children.
According to a HUD news release sent to 22News, Laura Hazen of Pittsfield could face fines if a judge determines that discrimination has occurred.
HUD charges that back in January, Hazen had placed an ad for a three-bedroom Holyoke apartment on Craigslist. Testers from a group called the Housing Discrimination Project called Hazen inquiring about the apartment. One of the testers told Hazen that she had grandchildren aged two, three, and six, who would be living with her.
Hazen told the tester that children six and under could not live in the apartment without a lead certificate. Then, when the tester asked if she could obtain a lead certificate because the apartment was recently renovated, Hazen allegedly said that that was not possible because the laws were “too stringent.”
Barbara Fields, the New England Regional Administrator for HUD, says that the department will continue to go after people who deny housing to people with children.
"Treating families with children different from other tenants is against the law," Fields said.
The case will be decided by an administrative law judge, unless either Hazen or HUD wants the case moved to U.S. district court.