Fair Housing Investigation at Fremont Condo Complex Reveals Longstanding Pattern of Discrimination Against Families with Children
Fremont, CA – Project Sentinel joined a class of aggrieved residents to file a housing discrimination lawsuit in federal court against Silvertree Mohave Homeowners’ Association (HOA) and Management Solutions. Both jointly manage Silvertree Mohave, a 108-unit condominium complex in Fremont. The complaint alleges that for more than 15 years, the HOA and Management Solutions discriminated against families with children by unlawfully restricting children from playing in outdoor common areas and harassing the children living at the complex.
A group of parents residing at the Silvertree Mohave complex contacted Project Sentinel for assistance in combatting discriminatory rules of conduct. Project Sentinel’s investigation resulted in evidence that the HOA Board of Directors and Management Solutions engaged in a longstanding and pervasive pattern of repeated, willful violations of fair housing law. Starting in 2000, the HOA and Management Solutions promulgated and enforcedrules prohibiting children under the age of 14 from playing outside, at any time, with or without adult supervision. Additional HOA rules, clearly targeted at children, prohibited “running, skating, skateboarding, bicycling, rollerblading, playing ball, or any kind of sports activity” in any common area, and imposed fines against families for any rule violations. The HOA removed grass from common areas to further discourage children from playing outside. The lawsuit alleges members of the HOA Board of Directors engaged in a protracted campaign of harassment, intimidation, and surveillance of young children. For example, the lawsuit alleges a Board member regularly photographed young children in an attempt at intimidation. Despite repeated demands from residents to comply with fair housing laws, the Silvertree Mohave HOA and Management Solutions persisted in publishing and enforcing discriminatory rules.
“Fair housing laws explicitly protect families with children from being singled out or treated less favorably from other residents,” stated Executive Director Ann Marquart. “Unreasonably restricting children from playing outdoors creates a significant impediment to housing choice. Rules such as those here – though unlawful – remain pervasive in many HOA communities in the Bay Area.”
Residents of Fremont are encouraged to contact Project Sentinel toll-free at (888) 324-7468 for assistance with housing discrimination. All services are free and available in English and Spanish regardless of income or immigration status.
Founded in 1976, Project Sentinel is a non-profit agency that provides a wide range of housing services to landlords, tenants, homeowners, homebuyers, and community members. Project Sentinel’s Fair Housing Center is dedicated to ending housing discrimination through education, advocacy, investigation and enforcement of fair housing laws. The agency’s services span seven Northern California counties, including Monterey, Sacramento, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Stanislaus and parts of Alameda and Merced.
The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under grants with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the City of Fremont.