|HUD No. 18-129
HUD Public Affairs
October 25, 2018
HUD CHARGES VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA LANDLORDS WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST RESIDENT WITH DISABILITY
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has charged Melinda S. Moore Housing, Inc., owner of a Christiansburg, Virginia-based low-income housing provider, Metropolitan Property Management, Inc. of Washington, NC, and three managers with discrimination on the basis of disability.
HUD’s Charge of Discrimination alleges that the housing providers discriminated against a resident with disabilities when they unreasonably delayed her request to install an automatic door opener to make it easier to use her wheelchair and then evicted her after refusing to allow her extra time, because of illness, to complete the development’s annual income and family composition certification. Read HUD’s Charge.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from refusing to allow persons with disabilities to make reasonable modifications to their home or refusing to make reasonable accommodations in their policies or practices.
"For three decades, persons with disabilities have had the right to be granted the accommodations they need to fully enjoy their home, but that right is still too often denied,” said Anna María Farías, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD is committed to ensuring that housing providers comply with the nation’s fair housing laws, including fulfilling their obligation to meet the needs of residents with disabilities.”
As a result of the discrimination, the resident was evicted and has been without housing.
“HUD will vigorously enforce the rights of residents with disabilities to receive the reasonable accommodations and modifications they need to enjoy their homes,” said HUD’s General Counsel, Paul Compton.
The case will be heard in federal district court. If it is determined that illegal discrimination occurred, a judge may award actual and punitive damages, order injunctive, or other equitable relief to deter further discrimination, and order that defendants pay the couple's attorney fees.
April 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. In commemoration, HUD, local communities, housing advocates, and fair housing organizations across the country have coordinated a variety of activities to enhance awareness of fair housing rights, highlight HUD's fair housing enforcement efforts, and end housing discrimination in the nation. For a list of planned activities, log onto www.hud.gov/fairhousingis50.
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).