|HUD No. 14-066
June 10, 2014
HUD AND ENGLEWOOD HOUSING AUTHORITY SETTLEMENT CREATES HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR NON-ELDERLY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has entered into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement with the Englewood Housing Authority (EHA) in Englewood, CO, settling allegations that EHA violated the Fair Housing Act when it implemented a point system at Orchard Place Apartments that effectively denied housing to applicants with disabilities unless they were elderly.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of a dwelling on the basis of disability. In addition, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
The agreement is the result of a HUD review which found that EHA imposed a policy that discriminated against Orchard Place non-elderly families with disabilities by implementing a preference point system effectively excludedfamilies with disabilities who were not elderly from living at Orchard Place even though the complex was designated as a "mixed population development," serving seniors over age 62 and individuals with disabilities on an equal basis.
During its review, HUD found that EHA imposed a preference point system that gave points to disabled applicants based on age. Specifically, HUD found that the housing authority assigned qualified elderly families with disabilities 100 preference points, while equally qualified non-elderly families with disabilities were assigned 80 points. HUD further determined that the housing authority, in July 2011, implemented a similar point system that gave elderly families with disabilities 20 points; elderly families 10 points; and non-elderly families with disabilities 10 points. The effect of both systems was that applicant families with elderly disabled members were uniformly placed on the waiting list in front of families with non-elderly disabled members who had applied years earlier.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Englewood Housing Authority will eliminate the preference point system and reorder its waiting list to place applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, the housing authority agreed to undertake outreach activities to underserved populations, comply with additional oversight from HUD, and provide fair housing training for its employees.
"Federal law requires that properties designated as mixed housing serve individuals with disabilities equally, regardless of age," said Dave Ziaya, HUD's Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "This agreement will help ensure that persons with disabilities will have access to housing opportunities at Englewood."
If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your civil rights have been violated you can report it online at www.hud.gov/fairhousing, call (800) 669-9777 or by downloading HUD's free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
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 http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDGov, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.