|HUD No. 19-076
May 22, 2019
HUD CHARGES ALABAMA LANDLORDS WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST RESIDENT WITH DISABILITIES
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging a property owner and manager in Mobile, Alabama with violating the Fair Housing Act. HUD claims the owner and manager of Hunter's Pointe Apartments engaged in discrimination by refusing to accommodate the special needs of a resident with disabilities. Read the charge.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from discriminating because of disability. This includes denying or limiting housing to persons with disabilities and refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices when a person with a disability needs them.
"For more than 30 years, the law clearly states that persons with disabilities have had the right to reasonable accommodations, yet too many continue to have this right denied," said Anna Mar├şa Far├şas, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Today's action reaffirms HUD's ongoing commitment to ensuring that housing providers meet their obligations under the law."
The case came to HUD's attention when a tenant with a mobility disability filed a complaint alleging that the owners and property manager of Hunter's Pointe denied his multiple requests to move to a first-floor unit, even though he presented medical documentation attesting to his need for the accommodation.
Specifically, HUD's charge alleges that the owner of the property, Hunter's Pointe, L.L.C., of Birmingham, violated the Act by refusing to allow the tenant to move from his second-floor apartment to a first-floor unit. HUD's charge further alleges that during the same period, management rented first-floor units to residents without disabilities. Consequently, the tenant was forced to move to another apartment complex.
"When a resident is entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act, a housing provider is obligated to provide it," said HUD Acting Deputy General Counsel for Enforcement Timothy Petty. "HUD remains committed to holding housing providers accountable for any failure to comply with the law."
The charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party elects for the case to be heard in federal court. If the administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he or she may award damages to the complainant for his loss as a result of the discrimination. The judge may also order other injunctive or equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose civil penalties to vindicate the public interest.
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).