WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has approved a Conciliation Agreement among the Housing Equity Center of PA and two residents of a Levittown, PA, apartment complex, and the owners and managers of the complex, Brittany Springs Associates, LLC, and Hub Realty Associates, LLC, resolving allegations of disability discrimination. Specifically, the complaints alleged that the Fairfield, CT-based housing providers refused to grant the residents’ request for a reserved parking space or to allow them to move to a first-floor unit, and retaliated against them for making the requests. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying housing to persons with disabilities or subjecting them to discriminatory terms or conditions, including denying reasonable accommodation requests that may be necessary to allow them the opportunity to use and enjoy their home.
“For persons with disabilities, a task as basic as walking from a parking lot to their home or climbing a flight of stairs can be very difficult, “said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Today’s settlement sends the clear message that HUD is committed to ensuring that housing providers meet their obligations to comply with the requirements of our nation’s fair housing laws.”
The case came to HUD’s attention when two residents of Brittany Springs Apartments with mobility impairments filed complaints alleging that the owners and managers of the property refused their requests to be transferred to a ground floor unit and be assigned a reserved parking space. The residents further alleged that employees of Hub Realty Associates, LLC, retaliated against them for making the reasonable accommodation requests by transferring them to a substandard unit and threatening them with eviction. In addition, fair housing tests conducted by the Housing Equity Center of PA indicated that Hub Realty staff refused to allow testers posing as applicants with disabilities to have designated parking spaces. Both Brittany Springs Associates, LLC, and Hub Realty Associates, LLC, denied the residents’ claims of discrimination but agreed to settle their complaints.
Under the terms of the Conciliation Agreement, Brittany Springs Associates, LLC, and Hub Realty Associates, LLC, will pay the residents $80,000, develop a nondiscrimination and reasonable accommodation policy, and have agents who have either direct leasing responsibilities at the property or authority to grant or deny reasonable accommodation requests attend fair housing training.
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).