|HUD No. 15-002
January 9, 2015
HUD CHARGES BROOKLYN CO-OP WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST DISABLED VETERAN
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has charged a 1,144-unit Coney Island cooperative development and the president of its board of directors with housing discrimination for refusing to allow a veteran with a psychiatric disability to keep an emotional support animal. HUD is charging Trump Village IV and Igor Oberman, the President of the Trump Village IV Board of Directors, with wrongfully denying the veteran's request for a reasonable accommodation and taking steps to evict him and his wife in retaliation for filing a fair housing complaint. Read HUD's charge.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices when a person with adisability requires such an accommodation, including refusing to grant waivers to "no-pet" policies for persons who use assistance or support animals.
"For many people with disabilities, support animals are essential to their ability to perform everyday activities that others take for granted," said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "The Fair Housing Act requires housing providers to grant reasonable accommodations, and HUD is committed to taking action if they fail to meet that obligation."
The case came to HUD's attention when the veteran and his wife filed a complaint alleging that Trump Village IV and Oberman refused to allow the veteran to keep an emotional support animal and pursued eviction proceedings, despite the fact that he provided medical documentation verifying his condition and need for the dog.
The veteran and his wife also alleged that Trump Village IV retaliated against them for filing their complaint by freezing their place on the wait list for parking in the development's main parking lot and removing the wife from the co-op's board of directors.
HUD's charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court.
Click here to read HUD's notice regarding service or companion animals.
Persons who believe they have been discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability, or denied a reasonable accommodation request may file a complaint by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing, 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. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.
You can also connect with HUD on social media and follow Secretary Castro on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.