|HUD No. 20-047
HUD Public Affairs
March 31, 2020
HUD APPROVES $63,000 SETTLEMENT INVOLVING CALIFORNIA HOUSING
PROVIDERS ACCUSED OF SEXUALLY HARASSING TENANTS
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has approved a Conciliation Agreement between California housing providers settling housing discrimination claims. The Greater Napa Valley Fair Housing Center and Napa Valley Community Housing and Napa Park Homes, LP, resolved allegations that the on-site manager for one of their properties, Fernando Yela, sexually harassed two female residents.
Additionally, the owners of Napa Valley Community Housing and Napa Park Homes and the property manager were alleged to have discriminated against current, past and prospective residents because of their national origin, familial status, and disability. Today’s settlement also involved three other Conciliation Agreements resolving similar claims (see links below). Read the Agreement.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful for a housing provider to discriminate on the basis of sex, national origin, disability and familial status, including sexually harassing tenants and refusing to grant reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by recipients of federal financial assistance. In addition, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
“Every person deserves to be able to enjoy the place they call home without being subjected to unwanted sexual advances or unlawful treatment because of their national origin or because they have a disability or minor children,” said Anna María Farías, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Today’s settlement reaffirms HUD’s commitment to upholding the nation’s fair housing laws by addressing all forms of housing discrimination.”
The cases came to HUD’s attention when two women and the Greater Napa Fair Housing Center, a HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agency, filed complaints alleging that the complex’s property manager sexually harassed residents of an apartment building owned by Napa Valley Community Housing. Napa Valley Community Housing, Napa Park Homes LP and the agents deny that they discriminated but agreed to settle the complaints.
Under the terms of the agreements, Napa Valley Community Housing will pay $14,000 to Greater Napa Valley Fair Housing Center and will pay $49,000 to individual parties, including the residents who filed complaints with HUD. In addition, the agreements call for the on-site property manager to be removed from any role requiring him to interact with or make decisions affecting residents of the complex.
People 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).
*Links to the three other similar agreements:
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available at www.hud.gov and https://espanol.hud.gov.