|HUD No. 10-003
January 12, 2010
HUD ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH LAKE COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY TO END DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT AND KEEP ELDERLY FAMILY TOGETHER
Lake Co. Housing Authority to pay $60,000
WASHINGTON - Two elderly sisters will continue living together under an agreement announced today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Lake County Housing Authority (LCHA) in Grayslake, Illinois.
The agreement settles a housing discrimination complaint brought by John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Clinic on behalf of the sisters. In addition, the housing authority will pay $20,000 to each sister, $20,000 to the law school, and forgive up to $10,000 in disputed past due rent.
"We are absolutely delighted these sisters can remain together as a family," said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Today, more and more people face the challenges of caring for their loved ones. The Fair Housing Act means that landlords should make reasonable accommodations - in this case, by allowing the care giving sister to stay in their home."
In November of 2008, an elderly, developmentally disabled tenant filed a discrimination complaint with HUD alleging that the Lake County Housing Authority failed to provide her reasonable accommodation, as required by the Fair Housing Act. The tenant is a participant in the HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) and lives with her sister, who acts as her live-in caregiver. LCHA's rental policy did not allow family members to serve as live-in caregivers. As a reasonable accommodation to the family, the housing authority will allow the elderly resident's sister to live in the unit as her caregiver and will adjust her monthly rent based on this new policy.
HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate more than 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.
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.