|HUD No. 21-090
HUD Public Affairs
May 21, 2021
HUD REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH CALIFORNIA HOUSING PROVIDERS RESOLVING CLAIMS OF NATIONAL ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has reached a Conciliation/Voluntary Compliance Agreement with Cascade Village Apartments II, LP, in Sacramento, CA, its management company, FPI Management, Inc., (FPI), and FPI’s portfolio manager resolving allegations that they violated the Fair Housing Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In particular, respondents allegedly failed to provide language access services to Vietnamese residents and retaliated against a Cascade Village employee for advocating for residents with limited English proficiency to receive oral interpretation services and translated vital documents. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from discriminating against persons based on their national origin. This includes aiding others in the exercise or enjoyment of their fair housing rights. Additionally, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin by recipients of federal financial assistance, and requires such recipients to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access for limited English proficient (LEP) persons.
“Everyone who applies for or lives in HUD-assisted housing should be able to access critical information about that housing, such as the application process, the terms of their lease, and the apartment building's rules,” said HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary Jeanine Worden. “Language must not be a barrier to accessing affordable housing. Under fair housing laws, affordable housing providers have an obligation to make important information available to all applicants and tenants, including people whose primary language is not English.”
The case came to HUD’s attention when an agent at Cascade Village Apartments, which receives HUD funding, filed a complaint alleging that the owners and managers of the property failed to provide language access services to the complex’s Vietnamese residents and retaliated against an employee because she advocated for the housing providers to provide language services to LEP residents.
Under the terms of the settlement, FPI Management, Inc., agrees to, among other things, pay $10,000 to the employee who filed the complaint. FPI Management will also provide $20,075 in compensation to residents of the property, with each household receiving $275 as either a check or as a rent credit. In addition, a notification letter will be sent to each household in their primary language notifying them of the agreement, including that FPI Management will provide LEP applicants with free oral interpretation services and translated documents when required by law.
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.