WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced today a Voluntary Compliance/Conciliation Agreement with the owners of an Orange County, California property and their management company, G & K Management, resolving allegations that they violated the Fair Housing Act by denying the reasonable accommodation requests of two women with disabilities. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to persons with disabilities, or from refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices for people with disabilities. In addition, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
“When residents with disabilities request reasonable accommodations, it’s because they need them to be able to enjoy their home. They aren’t asking for special treatment,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to work to ensure that property owners and managers understand their responsibilities under the law.”
The case came to HUD’s attention when a complaint was filed by a female resident of Alicia Park Apartments in Laguna Niguel, California who is mobility impaired and her daughter, who has a respiratory disability. The resident alleged that the owners and managers refused their reasonable accommodation request to be moved to a different first-floor unit without carpet. The unit in which the women lived was allegedly mold infested due to two pipe ruptures. Additionally, the women claimed that their request for a designated accessible parking space next to their unit was denied.
Under the terms of the agreement, G & K Management Company and the owners of Alicia Park Apartments will pay the women $17,500; replace the carpet with flooring; eradicate the mold and dirt in the women’s unit; add an accessible curb cut next to a parking space that was provided after the women filed their complaint; and sign a one-year lease with the women.
The owners of the property will also provide fair housing training for staff; modify their fair housing policy to include a reasonable accommodation policy; appoint a reasonable accommodation coordinator; and keep a log of reasonable accommodation requests and the actions taken in response.
Disability is the most common basis of complaint filed with HUD and its partner agencies. Last year alone, HUD considered more than 4,500 disability-related complaints or nearly 55 percent of all fair housing complaints.
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) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing, or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple and Android devices.
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 on the Internet
at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.