|HUD No. 18-076
HUD Public Affairs
July 27, 2018
HUD REACHES AGREEMENTS WITH HOUSING PROVIDERS IN CALIFORNIA, IDAHO AND HAWAII SETTLING CLAIMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has approved settlement agreements with housing providers in California and Idaho resolving allegations that they denied the reasonable accommodation requests of residents with disabilities who needed assistance animals or a first-floor apartment.
In addition, HUD approved a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) resolving findings which indicated that Hawaii Public Housing Authority failed to provide enough accessible units for residents with disabilities. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on disability. This includes refusing to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services or facilities related to housing. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
“Denying persons with disabilities the accommodations they need or failing to build accessible housing violates the law,” said Anna María Farías HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Hopefully, the settlements we’re announcing today will help housing providers recognize their obligation to comply with the nation’s fair housing laws and make a commitment to meeting that obligation.”
The agreements announced today are:
Rancho Cordova, California
HUD approved a Conciliation Agreement with the owners of Fountain Crest Apartments settling allegations that the owners demanded that a tenant with disabilities remove her assistance animal from the property. Among other things, the Conciliation Agreement provides that the tenant will receive $10,000 and the property owners will revise their reasonable accommodation policies and receive training to ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act.
San Diego, California
HUD approved a Conciliation Agreement with the owners of Summit at Alpine Apartment Homes Limited Partnership and Property West Residential Management Company resolving allegations that they denied a tenant’s reasonable accommodation request to move to a ground-floor unit due to a mobility disability. Under the agreement, Property West Residential Management Company will pay the woman $6,500. In addition, leasing and management staff at Summit at Alpine Apartment Homes Limited Partnership and Property West Residential Management Company will undergo fair housing training.
HUD approved a Conciliation Agreement with the owners of rental properties in Pocatello, settling allegations that they denied the request of a tenant with disabilities to keep an emotional support animal. The tenant alleged that the owners initially denied her request, but later agreed to grant her request, imposing numerous terms and conditions that violated the Fair Housing Act. Under the agreement, the owners will pay the woman $6,000 and revise their rental procedures to be consistent with the Fair Housing Act.
HUD approved a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) between the Hawaii Disability Rights Center and the Hawaii Public Housing Authority (HPHA). Under the VCA, HPHA will work cooperatively to resolve issues pertaining to a compliance review which found that HPHA failed to comply with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Among other findings, the compliance review revealed that HPHA did not have an adequate percentage of accessible units available for residents with disabilities. Also under the VCA, HPHA will contract with an expert accessibility consultant to ensure that it meets its accessibility mandates, including conducting assessments of residents’ accommodation needs.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing.