Families with Children & Fair Housing (Familial Status)

Protections for familial status under fair housing laws include (1) presence of children under 18 in the family, (2) women who are pregnant and/or (3) adults attempting to secure custody of children through adoption or guardianship.

Housing discrimination due to familial status can take many forms including:

  • Advertising “no kids,” or “1 child ok,” or “adults preferred.”
  • A lender mandating a woman return from maternity leave before approving a mortgage.
  • Restricting families with children to certain buildings or floors.
  • Overly restrictive occupancy standards which more harshly impact families with children.
  • Not notifying a family with children about the known presence of lead paint.
  • Restricting housing development in an attempt to limit the number of children in an area. 
  • Per head rental or deposit charges.
  • Applying rules or policies that directly impact families with children, such as “Kids cannot play outside,” adult only swim times, or curfews above and beyond any local ordinance.
  • Rules or policies which restrict minor children of opposite genders or certain ages from sharing bedrooms (also a form of gender based discrimination).

FHCCI Resources:

HUD Guidance: 

Reports of Interest:

  • Evicting Children, Desmond, Matthew, Weihua An, Richelle Winkler, and Thomas Ferriss. 2013. 

General Information: