HUD No. 08-068
May 15, 2008
HUD ANNOUNCES $40,000 SETTLEMENT FOR OREGON FAMILY WITH AUTISTIC CHILD IN DISCRIMINATION CASE
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that a Portland, Oregon apartment owner and management company have agreed to pay the parents of an autistic child $40,000 to settle a housing discrimination complaint. Daniel and Jenny Sanchez claimed Princeton Property Management, Inc. refused to accommodate the special needs of their three-year-old son.
The Sanchezes alleged that Princeton Property Management, Inc., refused to grant the family's request to move to a vacant first-floor apartment to mitigate noise complaints about their autistic son that the company received from a tenant who lived directly below the family. The family also alleged the property managers refused to renew the family's lease, which they had in several previous years, and issued a 30-Day Termination of Tenancy Notice. The property managers also failed to act on the Sanchezes' request to extend the termination date, forcing the family to vacate on the same day the mother gave birth to a second child.
In addition to the $40,000 payment to the Sanchezes, the owners and managers of the property will donate $2,500 to an autism group and $2,500 to a designated early childhood development center in the family's school district. The agreement also requires employees of the management company to attend fair housing training.
"We are pleased that the Sanchez family and their former landlords have reached an agreement that compensates the family for the harm they suffered," said Kim Kendrick, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "The law requires owners and property managers to make changes to their policies when such an accommodation is reasonable and will afford a person with a disability the ability to enjoy their home."
The Sanchezes filed their complaint with HUD in December 2007, alleging that Masters Loop, Inc., the owners of the 144-unit Masters Apartments, and Princeton Property Management Company, Inc., violated the Fair Housing Act's prohibition against disability discrimination in its "refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services," when such an accommodation is necessary to afford the family an "equal opportunity to enjoy a dwelling."
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of a dwelling, and other housing-related transactions, because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status.
HUD and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate approximately 10,000 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at 1 (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.
###HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov. For more information about FHA products, please visit www.fha.gov.