|HUD No. 09-138
July 29, 2009
HUD AND THE CITY OF EL PASO AGREE TO INCREASE ACCESSIBLE HOUSING
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP), Texas, signed an agreement that will create at least 289 accessible housing units for persons with disabilities. The voluntary agreement will make at least five percent of the El Paso Housing Authority’s housing stock fully accessible.
The Agreement stems from an April, 2008 HUD review that included an accessibility inspection of housing units, administrative offices and common areas, and an analysis of the agency's policies and procedures. HUD also reviewed management of applicant waiting lists, applications, maintenance records, and reasonable accommodation requests.
"I am very pleased that the City of El Paso Housing Authority has voluntarily entered into this partnership with HUD," said John Trasviña, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "When local, state and federal groups collaborate in partnership, we can create more housing opportunities, not just for persons with disabilities, but for all people."
Under the new agreement, HACEP will:
Create a minimum of 289 accessible units by 2014. In addition, HACEP will ensure that all common areas, HACEP programs and administrative offices are accessible to individuals with disabilities;
Hire a third-party architectural/engineering firm to certify that the units and common areas are modified and constructed pursuant to this Agreement;
Amend its Transfer Policy, Reasonable Accommodation Policy, Pet Policy, and Effective Communication Policy to ensure equal access for people with disabilities;
Prioritize the transfer of residents with disabilities into Accessible Units;
Notify applicants and residents about the Reasonable Accommodation Policy and procedures; and
Train current and new HACEP employees about the terms of the Agreement and federal fair housing laws.
In the next six years, more than 6,500 accessible units across the country will be developed through national voluntary compliance agreements signed with housing authorities.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.