|HUD No. 23-177
HUD Public Affairs
August 22, 2023
HUD, Oregon Housing Providers Settle Claim Alleging Disability Discrimination
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that Kye Patton and Bob Cave, the owner, and manager of a duplex apartment in Salem, Oregon, will pay $17,000 under an Initial Decision and Consent Order ("Consent Order") resolving allegations that they violated the Fair Housing Act by denying a reasonable accommodation request for a woman to live with her assistance animals. Read the Consent Order here.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on disability. Such discrimination includes refusing to rent based on a person’s disability, failing to grant reasonable accommodations, or subjecting tenants to discriminatory terms and conditions.
“When a person with disabilities is denied an assistance animal, they are denied equal use and enjoyment of their homes,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to work earnestly to ensure that persons with disabilities are not discriminated against.”
The settlement stems from a charge HUD filed on February 10, 2023, alleging Respondents Patton and Cave violated the Fair Housing Act when they denied the Complainant’s reasonable accommodation request to waive a no-pet policy to allow her assistance cat and assistance dog, which would help alleviate the symptoms of her disabilities.
As alleged in the Charge, the Respondents denied the request in a letter that stated: “We will NOT be changing our rental policy. If you feel that you need this accommodation, then please look for another place to live. We will NOT accept any animals of any kind no questions asked. I will give you a good rental reference if needed.” The Respondent Cave also verbally denied the Complainant’s request, telling her that he would not change the rental policy, would not accept any animals of any kind, and that she should seek new housing if she insisted on an accommodation. The Complainant subsequently vacated the property and moved to a different residence that would allow her to live with her assistance animals.
“The Fair Housing Act requires housing providers to make reasonable exceptions to their ordinary policies when necessary for individuals with disabilities to live with their assistance animals,” said Damon Smith, HUD’s General Counsel. “A housing provider’s refusal to do so is a serious violation of the law.”
HUD, the Complainant, and the Respondents agreed to voluntarily resolve this matter without a hearing before a HUD Administrative Law Judge. Accordingly, the parties have agreed to the entry of the Consent Order.
Under the terms of the Consent Order, the Respondents will pay $17,000 to the Complainant, develop a reasonable accommodation policy that complies with the Fair Housing Act and applies to every property they own or manage, and maintain records of any reasonable accommodation requests they receive. The Respondents denied the allegations but voluntarily agreed to settle the matter.
Individuals who believe they have experienced discrimination in housing may file a complaint by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (Federal Relay Service).
Housing providers can learn more about their responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications to individuals with disabilities here.