|HUD No. 22-131
HUD Public Affairs
July 11, 2022
HUD ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE ORDERS LONG ISLAND LANDLORD TO PAY OVER $70,000 FOR DISCRIMINATING AGAINST DAUGHTER WITH DISABILITIES AND HER MOTHER
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that an Administrative Law Judge found a landlord violated the Fair Housing Act when he refused to rent to a mother and her daughter because of the daughter’s cerebral palsy. On June 7, 2021, HUD charged Alex Raimos with violating the Act. On June 22, 2022, a HUD Administrative Law Judge agreed, ordering Raimos to pay $50,530 in damages to the family and a $20,111 civil penalty to the United States. Read the ALJ’s Decision and Order.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from discriminating because of disability. This includes refusing to rent because of a person’s disability.
“Persons with disabilities have been protected from discrimination in housing by the Fair Housing Act for more than 30 years, yet they continue to be subjected to discriminatory treatment,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD Principal Assistant Deputy Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD is committed to vigorously enforcing the Act to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities.”
“The fact that a landlord would refuse to rent to a family because a child has disabilities is inexcusable,” said HUD’s General Counsel, Damon Smith. “This decision should make clear to other housing providers that such actions are also illegal and costly.”
The ALJ found that the woman attempted to rent an apartment owned by Raimos. Raimos agreed to rent to the woman and accepted her security deposit. But after learning that the daughter had disabilities, he retracted his agreement to rent. The family then had to move in with relatives. The ALJ found that the “outright refusal to rent is arguably the most egregious form of fair housing violation, as it completely denies an individual a valuable housing opportunity. To put Complainant and her disabled child through two months of anticipation, excitement and hope only then to take it away because of her child’s cerebral palsy is reprehensible.”
People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 (voice) 800-927-9275 (TTY). Additional information is available at www.hud.gov/fairhousing. 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.