HUD No. 07-151
October 12, 2007
HUD CHARGES A NEW YORK STATE HOUSING AUTHORITY WITH VIOLATING FAIR HOUSING ACT
Tuckahoe Housing Authority refused to rent unit to women because of her disability
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it has charged Tuckahoe Housing Authority (THA) with housing discrimination for denying a public housing unit to a disabled woman.
Specifically, HUD alleges that THA's "working family" policy violated the Fair Housing Act by subjecting the woman to different terms, conditions, and facilities because of her disability.
Federal regulations state that individuals with disabilities are entitled to be classified as working families and cannot be treated differently because of their disability.
"Anytime someone is discriminated against, it undermines this nation's guiding principles" said Kim Kendrick, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "It is especially disturbing when it involves an organization that receives Federal funds. A public housing authority has the right to adopt a preference for working families, but not at the exclusion of persons with disabilities."
A hearing on the charge will be held by a U.S. Administrative Law Judge on January 8, 2008, in Tuckahoe, NY, unless one of the parties elects to have the case heard in U.S. District Court. An election to go to District Court must be made by October 24, 2007.
Housing discrimination charges heard before an administrative law judge carry a maximum civil penalty of $16,000 for each violation for a first offense, in addition to actual damages for each complainant, injunctive or other equitable relief, and attorneys' fees. Sanctions can be more severe if a respondent has a history of housing discrimination.
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate approximately 10,328 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 (voice), (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Additional information is available at www.hud.gov/fairhousing. Stay on top of the most up-to-date news regarding the Fair Housing Act by signing up for the FHEO RSS Feed.