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Woman sues over housing policy limiting occupants

August 25, 2021 GMT

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — A woman who lives in community housing in Mandan has filed a lawsuit claiming she was forced from her townhome because she has too many children.

Shukri Ahmed, in her complaint, says she was told by Affordable Housing Developers, Inc., that she must leave the property where she has resided with her children for four years because she has violated the townhome’s occupancy standards. The policy limits the number of occupants to five in a three-bedroom unit.

Ahmed had her fifth child in October 2020 and the nonprofit said she exceeded that limit with one adult and five children in the home. Ahmed argues the policy discriminates against families with children in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act.

In order to avoid homelessness, the suit alleges that Ahmed was forced to relocate her family to her cousin’s basement in Fargo, KX News reported.

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In a response to the complaint, Affordable Housing Developers denies any discrimination against families with children and says it did not violate any state or federal laws.

The nonprofit organization also stated it did not evict Ahmed, but chose not to renew her lease, saying she was already residing in the largest available unit.

AHDI also says it applies the same standards across the board, and there are other tenants living at the property that have children.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for Sept. 1.