Dear Colleague,

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced a fair housing agreement between a San Diego-area property management company and a family with a child who has a respiratory disability. The agreement resolves allegations that Property West Residential, Inc., which manages Meadow Woods at Alpine Apartment complex in Alpine, California, refused to grant the mother’s request to be moved to a unit away from her neighbors who were heavy smokers. Read the agreement.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing because of a person’s disability and from refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices.

“Allowing a parent to move to a different unit in order to protect the health of their child is not special treatment, it is complying with the law,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue working with housing providers to help them meet their reasonable accommodation obligations under the Fair Housing Act

The case came to HUD’s attention when a single mother of a child with respiratory disabilities filed a complaint alleging that the property manager denied her requests to move to another unit because the smoke from her neighbor’s unit exacerbated her son’s disability. The owners of Property West Residential, Inc., deny that they discriminated against the woman.

Under the terms of the agreement, Property West Residential, Inc., will pay the mother $5,000 and forgive $5,560.47 that the company alleges she owed. In addition, each of Meadow Woods at Alpine’s property managers will attend fair housing training.

Persons 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).