January 06, 2005
HUD, HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF LAS VEGAS SIGN AGREEMENT TO ASSIST PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
WASHINGTON - The Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced the Housing Authority of the City of Las Vegas (HACLV) has signed a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) committing to provide over one hundred fully-accessible public housing units for residents with disabilities among other things.
The Agreement stems from a HUD review of HACLV conducted in January 2004 where HUD assessed HACLV's compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Together, these laws make is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin or disability and contain requirements regarding accessibility for persons with disabilities.
The Agreement resolves several potential civil rights concerns that the Department uncovered during its review. The authority will make periodic reports to HUD. At the same time, HUD will do its own monitoring for compliance.
"Public housing is a critical housing resource for a great number of people with disabilities," said Carolyn Peoples, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "This agreement helps ensure that this housing stock is accessible to people with disabilities and is made available on equal terms."
Under the terms of the Agreement, the Housing Authority of the City of Las Vegas will:
- Make one hundred four (104) public housing units fully-accessible to persons with mobility impairments;
- Develop a plan to ensure that HACLV's Administrative Offices are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities;
- Develop procedures to ensure that HACLV accommodates applicants and residents with disabilities to ensure that individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in HACLV's programs;
- Adopt procedures to communicate with individuals with hearing, visual or cognitive disabilities, including the provision of sign language interpreters;
- Enhance HACLV's process for assigning housing to ensure that residents with disabilities occupy housing units that meet their disability-related needs; and
- Provide fair housing training for current and new HACLV employees.
Although this Agreement primarily addresses issues pertaining to disability, it also addresses one issue relating to the housing authority's responsibilities to persons with limited English proficiency and requires HACLV to develop a plan to ensure meaningful access to HACLV's housing opportunities for individuals who have limited English proficiency.
Failing to comply with this agreement could lead to loss of federal funding and possible court action by the Department of Justice.
In addition to this Agreement, the Department has executed Voluntary Compliance Agreements with three major public housing authorities since 2001; the D.C. Housing Authority, the Puerto Rico Public Housing Administration, and the Boston Housing Authority. The Department's efforts with these three large public housing authorities have resulted in nearly 4,000 additional accessible housing opportunities for persons with disabilities in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Boston.
Anyone who believes they have experienced housing discrimination is asked to call HUD's Housing Discrimination Hotline at 1-800-669-9777.
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 as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.