|HUD No. 22-166
HUD Public Affairs
September 9, 2022
HUD ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT REQUIRING DALLAS HOUSING AUTHORITY TO PAY $500,000 TO VICTIM OF HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has entered into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement-Conciliation Agreement (VCA-CA) with the Housing Authority of the City of Dallas, Texas (DHA), requiring DHA to pay $500,000 to a former public housing tenant subjected to housing discrimination. Read the VCA-CA here.
The Agreement stems from a complaint filed by the tenant alleging that DHA violated several civil rights laws when it failed to grant her reasonable request to move to a ground-floor unit after a car accident precluded her ability to climb the stairs to her second-floor apartment. The Agreement resolves HUD’s Letter of Findings, which found that DHA discriminated against the tenant in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as the tenant’s complaint of disability discrimination under the Fair Housing Act.
The Fair Housing Act, Section 504, and the ADA prohibit discrimination in housing because of disability. This includes refusing to provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities when necessary to provide them an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling.
“Reasonable accommodations are essential to ensuring that individuals with disabilities have equal opportunity to enjoy and benefit from their housing,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Public housing agencies are not exempt from fair housing laws. HUD is pleased the parties were able to resolve the matter and expects others with disabilities to be afforded reasonable accommodations as well.”
HUD found that DHA’s failure to grant the tenant’s reasonable accommodation request forced her to crawl up and down the stairs to access or leave her home, causing her physical pain, injury, and humiliation. HUD also found that DHA retaliated against the tenant after she requested a ground-floor unit by refusing to accept her rental payments and then evicting her. The tenant then became homeless. DHA denied any wrongdoing in the Agreement.
In addition to the $500,000 payment to the tenant, the Agreement requires DHA to take steps to vacate all judgments it obtained against her and clear any debts DHA had alleged she owed. In addition, DHA will pay a $10,528 civil penalty to HUD. DHA will also overhaul its reasonable accommodation policies and pre-eviction grievance hearing procedures to ensure compliance with the civil rights laws. It will also establish an effective communication policy that ensures individuals with disabilities can participate in all programs.
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.