The following information is from the "Housing for Caregivers" flyer prepared by Atlanta Legal Aid, last reviewed on January 4, 2021.
Housing for Caregivers in Georgia
What laws protect the ability of a caregiver to have a child in the home?
The right to have a child in the home of a caregiver is protected by federal law, including the Fair Housing Act.
Do I need legal custody to keep a child in my care in my home?
No. The Fair Housing Act bans discrimination based on “familial status.” “Familial status” includes, among other things, 1) a parent or another person in the process of obtaining legal custody of a child and 2) a person with written permission from a parent or legal guardian for the child to live with that person. Therefore, obtaining legal custody or obtaining written permission from a child’s parent or legal guardian protects your ability to have a child in your care in your home.
How do I qualify for “familial status” protection?
To qualify for familial status protection under the Fair Housing Act, you must be: 1) the child’s parent, 2) the legal custodian of the child, or 3) obtain written permission from the child’s parent or legal guardian to be the “designee” of the child.
How old does a child in my care have to be to qualify for “familial status” protection?
A child must be under eighteen for the household to qualify for “familial status” protection, but as long as there is at least one child under eighteen living in the household, “familial status” protections apply.
Can I add a child in my care to my lease?
Yes. The law requires either legal custody of the child in your care or written permission from a parent or guardian to add a child in your care to your lease.
Can my landlord make rules affecting children?
Yes. The law allows for a landlord or housing program to make rules that single out children, but only if the rules are reasonable and aimed at protecting children’s health and safety. Rules that set limits may be reasonable if they are based on realistic health and safety concerns. Rules should not prevent equal use and benefits from housing.
What should I do if I am experiencing problems with my landlord or housing program in regards to a child in my care?
If a landlord or housing program in Georgia is asking you for more than legal custody or written permission from a parent or legal guardian, contact a legal services attorney with the Kinship Care Hotline at 1-855-357-6566.