|HUD No. 21-045
HUD Public Affairs
March 24, 2021
HUD APPROVES AGREEMENT WITH CALIFORNIA HOUSING PROVIDER RESOLVING CLAIMS OF DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has approved a Conciliation Agreement between Monterey, California-based rental property owners and managers G Davi Properties and Guido A. Davi II and a resident of one of their properties, resolving claims that the providers denied the resident’s reasonable accommodation request to keep an assistance animal. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from discriminating against people with disabilities, including refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices when such accommodations may be necessary to provide persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling. This includes permitting persons with disabilities to have service animals or assistance animals. Housing providers, unlike public accommodations, may not prohibit people with disabilities from having assistance animals that perform work or tasks, or that provide disability-related emotional support.
“An assistance animal can be a lifeline for persons with disabilities,” said Jeanine Worden, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD is committed to enforcing the Fair Housing Act to ensure that housing providers recognize their obligation to make such right to that accommodations and comply with the nation’s fair housing laws.”
The complaint came to HUD’s attention when the resident with disabilities filed a complaint alleging that G Davi Properties and Guido A. Davi II discriminated against him by failing to grant his request to keep an assistance animal. After denying his request, the owners allegedly cancelled the lease, changed the locks on the unit, and threatened to call the police in the event that he attempted to move in. The owners also allegedly claimed that the man never disclosed his need for an assistance animal, even though he provided a letter from his physician verifying his disability and need for the assistance animal.
The owners/managers deny that they discriminated against the complainant and denied any violation of law, but voluntarily agreed to settle the complaint. Under the Conciliation Agreement, they will pay $10,000 to the resident, provide fair housing training for their employees, create and implement a written Reasonable Accommodation Policy, and modify any rental forms or materials to be consistent with the Fair Housing Act.
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) 877-8339 (Relay). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to hud.gov/fairhousing. For more information about assistance animals under the Fair Housing Act, please see: https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/PA/documents/HUDAsstAnimalNC1-28-2020.pdf.