|HUD No. 20-169
HUD Public Affairs
October 7, 2020
HUD CHARGES NEW YORK CONDO ASSOCIATION WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST TENANT WITH DISABILITIES
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it is charging Fairfield Properties and Pinewood Estates at Commack Condominium in Commack, New York, for allegedly discriminating against a tenant with disabilities. Specifically, HUD’s Charge alleges that the housing providers refused to allow a tenant with disabilities to keep an assistance animal. Read HUD’s Charge.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on disabilities including denying reasonable accommodation requests.
“Assistance animals aren’t pets; they make it easier for persons with disabilities to perform life’s daily functions,” said Anna María Farías, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "HUD will continue to take action when the practices and policies of housing providers violate the nation’s housing laws.”
“HUD is committed to ensuring housing is accessible to individuals with disabilities,” said HUD’s Principal Deputy General Counsel, Michael B. Williams. “Providing reasonable accommodations is an essential part of housing providers’ legal obligation to make housing available to persons with disabilities.”
HUD's charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he or she may award damages to the family for harm caused by the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney’s fees. In addition, the judge may impose fines to vindicate the public interest. If the matter is decided in federal court, the judge may also award punitive damages.
Persons who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a complaint of discrimination by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 or visiting How to File a Complaint on HUD’s website. Materials and assistance are available for persons with limited English proficiency. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the Department using the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.