What Familial Status Discrimination Really Looks Like


Posted On: January 30, 2024

Ebony Hall, Director of Marketing & Communications

We seldom talk about familial status discrimination iyet it happens often. Our latest “Knowing More” video tells John’s stroy. He’s a father who feels the property manager is discriminating against his children in their housing community. His story is based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “Examples of Housing Discrimination.” You can watch the video below and then learn more about familial discrimination.

What is Familial Status Discrimination?

Familial status discrimination occurs when housing policies or practices unfairly limit or exclude families with children from enjoying their full housing rights. The violations include everything from restrictions on using common facilities to different rental terms.

Legal Protections Against Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act includes protections against discrimination based on familial status. The law guarantees equal access to housing and amenities for families with children. The Act helps promote inclusive and diverse communities.

Familial status protects:

  • families with children under the age of 18,
  • pregnant persons,
  • anyone in the process of securing legal custody of a minor child (including adoptive or foster parents), and
  • anyone with written permission of the parent or legal guardian

Challenging Familial Discrimination

You can fight this kind of discrimination. If you suspect you’ve been a victim:

  • Document your experiences.
  • Seek advice from a fair housing advocate or legal professional.
  • File a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Understanding and recognizing steering is the first step towards combating this form of discrimination.


HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) works to eliminate discrimination in housing, promote economic opportunity, and achieve diverse, inclusive communities.



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