WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it has charged Le Club II Condominium Association in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, with housing discrimination after its management company, Dan-Mar Management, allegedly refused to allow a resident with disabilities to keep an assistance animal. Read HUD’s Charge.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to people with disabilities, or from refusing to make reasonable accommodations so that those with disabilities can use and enjoy their housing.
“Assistance animals enable persons with disabilities to fully enjoy their home and are an accommodation that shouldn’t be denied,” said Anna María Farías, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to take appropriate action when housing providers fail to comply with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act.”
“HUD is committed to ensuring that housing providers approve reasonable accommodations to their policies to ensure persons with disabilities have equal access to their housing,” said HUD’s Principal Deputy General Counsel, Michael B. Williams.
HUD’s charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he or she may award damages to the family for harm caused by the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney’s fees. In addition, the judge may impose fines to vindicate the public interest. If the matter is decided in federal court, the judge may also award punitive damages.
Persons who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a complaint of discrimination by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 or visiting How to File a Complaint on HUD’s website. Materials and assistance are available for persons with limited English proficiency. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the Department using the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.