WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced an agreement with the owners and operators of Swansea Park Senior Apartments in Los Angeles to resolve allegations that they violated fair housing laws for refusing to allow a resident with disabilities to have a live-in aide and making discriminatory statements to him. Read the Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA.)
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of a dwelling because of disability, including the refusal to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices when a person with a disability requires such an accommodation. This includesbeing allowed to have a live-in caregiver in a unit when it is necessary. 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.
“Persons with disabilities have a right to the reasonable accommodations they need to use and enjoy their home without being subjected to discriminatory statements or unnecessary barriers,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to work with housing providers to ensure that they meet their obligation to comply with our nation’s fair housing laws.”
The agreement announced today follows a complaint filed by a resident with disabilities who was denied a reasonable request to have his daughter reside with him as his live-in aide. The manager allegedly advised the resident that if he was that sick he should not be living at the property and that if he needed assistance during the night, he should call 911. The manager also allegedly told the resident that she had blacklisted him and would check his apartment nightly to see if he had secretly let anyone in. Because his reasonable accommodation request was denied, the man’s daughter had to shuttle him back and forth between her home and his home in order to care for him.
Under the terms of the agreement, the respondents will, among other things, pay the man $15,000, allow his daughter to be his live-in aide, undergo fair housing training, and adjust their reasonable accommodation policy.
Disability is the most common basis of complaint filed with HUD and its partner agencies. Last year alone, HUD and its State and local partners 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.