Home / Press Room / Press Releases / HUD No. 24-071

HUD No. 24-071
HUD Public Affairs
(202) 708-0685
April 5, 2024

HUD Investigation Finds Luxury Condominium in Puerto Rico Violates the Accessibility Requirements of the Fair Housing Act

SAN JUAN - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging multiple entities for failing to design and construct Quantum Metrocenter Condominiums (“QMC”) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in accordance with the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act (“Act”) based upon a complaint initiated by HUD. These entities include the architectural firm that designed the drawings used for the construction of QMC, the general contractor, and both the original and subsequent owners. HUD has also charged some of the entities with failing to approve a reasonable accommodation request made by two residents due to the inaccessible design and construction features of QMC. Read the Charge.

The Act requires multifamily housing built after March 1991 to contain accessible features for people with disabilities. The Act also prohibits discrimination because of disability, including refusing to allow reasonable accommodations that would otherwise permit homeowners with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their housing.

“It is unacceptable to deny residents equal use and enjoyment of their homes because of their disability,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD Principal Assistant Deputy Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD is steadfast in ensuring that people with disabilities have access to their homes, in accordance with the Fair Housing Act.”

“Today’s action should remind housing providers, builders, and architects that they must design and build housing that ensures equal access to individuals with disabilities,” said HUD General Counsel Damon Smith. “HUD is committed to vigorously enforcing the Act to ensure that all people have equal access and opportunity to live in the community of their choice.”

HUD’s Charge of Discrimination alleges that the architectural firm, general contractor, and owners failed to include accessible building entrances on accessible routes, accessible and usable public and common use areas, usable doors in units, accessible routes in units, accessible thermostats, reinforced walls for grab bars in bathrooms, and usable kitchens and bathrooms for persons with disabilities, particularly those in wheelchairs, in the 80-residential unit two-tower buildings. The Charge also alleges the entities failed to approve a reasonable accommodation request for an accessible parking space, which would have allowed persons with disabilities to have better use of their units and the common area features of QMC, even while continuing to have to endure other inaccessible design and construction features.

A United States Administrative Law Judge will hear HUD’s charge unless any party elects to have the case heard in Federal district court. If the Administrative Law Judge finds, after a hearing, that discrimination has occurred, the judge may award damages to the resident for his losses as a result of the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief to deter further discrimination, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose civil penalties to vindicate the public interest. If the Federal court hears the case, the Judge may also award punitive damages to the resident.

The Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST (FIRST) initiative was designed to promote compliance with the Fair Housing Act design and construction requirements. The program offers comprehensive and detailed instruction programs, useful online web resources, and a toll-free information line for technical guidance and support. Housing providers can learn more about the FIRST program here. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing providers and others can learn more about their responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities here and about accessibility requirements for multifamily housing here. Additional information is available at www.hud.gov/fairhousing.


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available at www.hud.gov and https://espanol.hud.gov.

You can also follow HUD on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.

Learn More About HUD's Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity Work