WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that Ralph W. Torr, The Ralph W. Torr Revocable Trust of 2000, and the Pauline Torr Revocable Trust of 2000, the owners and operators of the West Wind Estates II mobile home park in Rochester, New Hampshire, will pay $15,000 under a HUD Consent Order resolving allegations of disability discrimination. HUD’s charge of discrimination alleged that the owners denied a prospective homebuyer the opportunity to purchase a home at the park by refusing to make a reasonable accommodation from their age restrictions to permit the homebuyer’s son, who is a person with severe disabilities that require special care, to live with his mother at the property. The Initial Decision and Consent Order also requires the owners to attend fair housing training and revise the mobile home park’s reasonable accommodation and 55-and-older housing community policies. Read HUD’s Order.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to persons with disabilities, or from refusing to make reasonable accommodations in their policies or practices when necessary to provide persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling. While the Act permits housing providers, under certain circumstances, to maintain a general policy of offering housing only to persons over 55, those policies are subject to the reasonable accommodation requirement.
“Persons with disabilities often live with loved ones who provide care, including parents who may wish to live in housing for older persons,” said Demetria McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Such arrangements are protected by law and HUD is committed to ensuring that individuals in a position to control access to housing are aware of their responsibility to comply with the nation’s housing laws, particularly when it comes to reasonable accommodations.”
The case came to HUD’s attention when the mother, a caregiver for her adult son, filed a complaint alleging that the owners and operators of the park refused her request to make an exception to the park’s 55 and older age requirement to allow her son to live with her, preventing her from purchasing a home at the park. HUD filed a charge of discrimination on behalf of the mother and her son on July 22, 2021. HUD’s charge alleged that the owners violated the Act by refusing to grant the mother’s request and by denying the sale.
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) 877-8339 (Relay). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to hud.gov/fairhousing.