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HUD Charges Oklahoma Landlords with Discriminating Against Veteran with Disabilities

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging the landlords of a Moore, Oklahoma rental home with violating the Fair Housing Act by denying the reasonable accommodation requests of their tenant, a veteran with disabilities.

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. This includes waiving pet fees for persons with disabilities who use assistance animals.

The case came to HUD’s attention when a combat veteran living with a mental disability who uses an emotional support animal filed a complaint alleging that the owners of the house he was renting. The tenant complained that AMH 2015-1 Borrower, LLC, and its management company, AH4R Management – OK, LLC, refused to waive their pet deposit fee. HUD’s charge alleges that although the man provided the owners and management company with medical documentation attesting to his need for the animal, they denied his request to waive a $250 pet fee. Under the law, assistance animals are not considered pets.

Disability is the most common basis of fair housing complaint filed with HUD and its partner agencies. Last year alone, HUD and its partners considered over 4,900 disability-related complaints, or more than 58 percent of all fair housing complaints.

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 complainant for their loss as a result of the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose civil penalties in order to vindicate the public interest. If the case is heard in federal court, the judge may also award punitive damages to the complainant.

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.

HUD Charges Kansas Landlords with Discriminating Against a Grandmother

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging the property owners, operator, and office manager of a multifamily property in Wichita, Kansas with violating the Fair Housing Act by terminating the lease of a resident who had asked that her grandchild be allowed to live with her.

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against families with children, including denying or limiting housing to families because they have children under the age of 18, making discriminatory statements, and imposing rules or policies that discriminate against families with children.

“Grandparents shouldn’t have their housing taken from them simply because they’re guardians of young children,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “This charge reinforces HUD’s commitment to ensuring that housing providers meet their obligation to treat families with children the same as any other resident.”

The case came to HUD’s attention when a female resident filed a complaint alleging that the owners of Northridge Apartments, a complex in Wichita consisting of 16 one-bedroom units, terminated her lease after she asked if she could add her granddaughter to her lease. The grandmother had obtained custody of the child shortly before she made the request.

HUD’s charge alleges the property manager told her that her request “may be a problem,” and that the owner “doesn’t want kids on the property.” The charge further alleges that the owners gave notice that they were terminating the lease of another family with a child around the same time.

The case will be heard in federal district court. If it is determined that illegal discrimination has occurred, a judge may award actual and punitive damages, order injunctive or other equitable relief to deter further discrimination, and order that defendants pay the family’s attorney fees.

Any person who believes she or he has 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 online or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple and Android devices.

HUD Announces $15 Million to Test a New Approach to Help Low-Income Seniors Age in Place

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded approximately $15 million to select owners of HUD-assisted senior housing developments to help their low-income senior tenants to age in their own homes and delay or avoid the need for nursing home care.  HUD will cover costs related to hiring a full-time Enhanced Service Coordinator and a part-time Wellness Nurse to connect the elderly with the supportive services they need to maintain independent living and age-in-place.

“It is so important that we afford our seniors the opportunity to live independently,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “These grants will help owners of HUD-assisted senior developments to offer the services that will allow seniors to remain in their homes for as long as they can.”

Funded through HUD’s Supportive Services Demonstration for Elderly Households in HUD-Assisted Multifamily Housing, these three-year grants will produce evidence about the effectiveness of this enhanced supportive services model for elderly households and to evaluate the value of enhanced service coordination paired with affordable housing for seniors. The Demonstration will be independently evaluated to determine the impact of the enhanced supportive services model on:

  • aging in place in HUD-assisted senior developments;
  • avoiding early transitions to institutional care, and;
  • preventing unnecessary and often costly health care utilization-such as some emergency room visits and hospitalizations-for residents in HUD-assisted senior developments.

HUD and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) collaborated on several research initiatives to inform the design of this demonstration.  Lessons from each have informed the resulting experimental research design that has three significant features: 1) the creation of separate groups of enrolled properties: treatment and control; 2) the use of a lottery, or a random assignment, to place eligible properties in these two groups; and 3) the requirement to uniformly implement the demonstration’s core components and ensure adherence to the study design.

The following senior housing developments will receive funding:

State City Applicant Name Property Name
California Santa Cruz East Cliff VOA Affordable Housing, LP East Cliff Village Apartments
  Rocklin Placer County VOA Elderly Housing, Inc. Rolling Oaks Apartments
  Chula Vista The Salvation Army Chula Vista Residences, Inc. Silvercrest – Chula Vista
  San Francisco Dorothy Day Community, L.P. Dorothy Day Community
  San Rafael Maria B. Freitas Senior Housing Maria B. Freitas Senior Housing
  Oakland Allen Temple Development Corporation Allen Temple
  Oakland Allen Temple Development Corporation No. 2 Allen Temple Arms Ii
  Ontario Ontario Senior Housing, Inc. Ontario Senior Housing, Inc.
  Redondo Beach Casa De Los Amigos, LP Casa De Los Amigos
  Los Angeles Good Shepherd Manor Good Shepherd Manor
  Fountain Valley Our Lady of   Guadalupe Our Lady of   Guadalupe
  Los Angeles Baptist Service Corporation Vista Tower
  San Bernardino Telacu Housing San Bernardino III, Inc. Telacu Housing-San Bernardino III
  San Bernardino Telacu Housing-San Bernardino V, Inc. Telacu Housing San Bernardino V
  Los Angeles Southern California Presbyterian Homes Castle Argyle Apts.
Illinois Rockford Luther Center Luther Center
  Chicago Charles A. Beckett Associates Limited Partnership Charles A. Beckett Apts
  Chicago Kenwood Area Housing Inc. Greencastle of   Kenwood
  Glenview Glenview Elderly Housing Patten House of   Glenview
  Chicago Oasis Senior Living, LP Greencastle of   Morgan Park and Beverly
Maryland Baltimore Arlington Ii Non-Profit Housing Arlington Ii Non-Profit Housing Corp
  Owings Mills Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Village I Weinberg Village I
Massachusetts South Boston South Boston Non Profit South Boston Non Profit Housing
  Jamaica Plain Jamaica Plains Jamaica Plains Coop Serv
  Roslindale Roslindale Senior Np Roslindale Senior Np Hsg Inc.
  Worcester Colony Retirement Homes 1 Colony Retirement Homes I
  Worcester Colony Retirement Homes 4 Colony Ret Homes Iv
Michigan Royal Oak Oak Non-Profit Housing Corporation Barton Towers 2
  Hazel Park Hazel Park Non-Profit Housing Corporation Hazel Park Manor
  Belleville Belleville Non-Profit Housing Corporation Belleville Cooperative Apartments
  Riverview Riverview Non-Profit Housing Corporation Riverview Tower
  Detroit St. Anne’s Non-Profit Housing Corporation Rio Vista
  Pontiac Colony Lane Non-Profit Housing Corporation Pontiac Village Estates
  Grand Rapids Plymouth Arms Associates, A Limited Dividend Housing Association, LP Plymouth Arms Apts
New Jersey Pennsauken Stonegate At St. Stephen, Inc. Stonegate At St. Stephen’s
  Union City Domus Corporation Holy Rosary Housing
  Ocean City Ocean City 2406, Inc. Wesley By The Bay
  Audubon Audubon Towers Ltd Partnership Audubon Towers
South Carolina Columbia Episcopal Housing Corporation Finlay House
Columbia New Lakeside Apartments Limited Partnership Lakeside Apartments