WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today an agreement involving the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority in Las Vegas to resolve allegations that it violated the Fair Housing Act by denying the mother the reasonable accommodation she requested on behalf of her son with disabilities. Read the Voluntary Compliance 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.
“Landlords have a legal responsibility to approve reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Agreements like this help housing providers better understand their responsibilities, particularly their obligation to comply with the reasonable accommodation requirements of the Fair Housing Act and Section 504.”
The case came to HUD’s attention after a mother of a son with disabilities filed a complaint alleging that the housing authority failed to grant her request to be transferred to a three-bedroom unit in order to accommodate medical equipment her son required. The housing authority initially informed the mother that it would grant the accommodation, but failed to do so in a timely manner.
Under the agreement, the housing authority will pay the woman $50,000; exempt her from paying rent for six and a half years, which equates to a monetary value of $40,170; provide fair housing training for its staff; submit a reasonable accommodation policy and procedure to HUD for review and approval; and post a fair housing poster in the public space of all of its offices.
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.