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HUD No. 19-133
HUD Public Affairs
(202) 708-0685
FOR RELEASE
Friday
September 6, 2019

HUD REACHES VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE AND CONCILIATION AGREEMENT WITH LOS ANGELES HOUSING AUTHORITY SETTLING DISCRIMINATION CLAIM

 

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it has entered into a Conciliation/Voluntary Compliance Agreement with the Housing Authority of Los Angeles (HACLA), settling claims that it discriminated against a resident because of her sex and disabilities. Read the agreement.

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status. This includes refusing to provide reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities. In addition, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all programs, services, and activities of local governments.

“It is incumbent upon housing providers, especially those receiving federal funding, to treat all residents fairly,” said Anna Maria Farias, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “We are pleased that the Housing Authority of Los Angeles has agreed that, going forward, it will incorporate rental policies and practices that are consistent with the nation’s fair housing laws.”

The case came to HUD’s attention when a resident of the Housing Authority of Los Angeles filed a complaint alleging that HACLA discriminated against her on the basis of sex and disability. Specifically, the resident alleged that she asked to be transferred to another building to accommodate her disability, but the housing authority denied her request. The resident further alleged that for months she asked to be transferred, citing the need for an accommodation because of her disability. She also requested an emergency transfer under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) as a tenant in a covered housing program under that Act. After several more months, HACLA provided the resident with four transfer options, which she rejected because she believed that the alternative units were similarly unsafe and would not provide her with an accommodation for her disability. HACLA denies the claims but agreed to settle the resident’s complaint.

Under the terms of this agreement, HACLA will pay the resident $35,000 and transfer her to another building. HACLA will also pay $15,000 to the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, which assisted the resident with filing her complaint, to cover attorneys’ fees. In addition, certain HACLA employees will undergo training pertaining to fair housing, reasonable accommodations, and VAWA. HACLA will also amend its VAWA emergency transfer plan and reasonable accommodation procedures.

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).

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