|HUD No. 16-163
October 26, 2016
HUD CHARGES OHIO HOUSING AUTHORITY WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST FAMILY WITH DISABILITIES
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging the Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority in Warren, Ohio with violating the Fair Housing Act by denying the reasonable accommodation requests of a family that includes a father and daughter with severe disabilities. Read HUD's charge.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to persons with disabilities, or from refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices for people with disabilities.
"When families are living with disabilities, landlords have a legal responsibility to grant reasonable accommodations," said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "HUD will continue to confront this type of housing discrimination whenever it occurs."
The case came to HUD's attention when the four-member family participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program filed a complaint against the Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority after it denied their request to move from their two-bedroom apartment into a unit that was appropriate for their disability needs. The family submitted a request to occupy a home that had two additional rooms to separately accommodate the father's dialysis treatments and a daughter's disability.
According to the charge, though the housing authority initially approved the family's request it ultimately terminated their voucher assistance, and denied their request for new voucher program paperwork. The family then lived in separate locations while the father underwent treatments alone.
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. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he or she may award damages to the complainants for their loss as a result of the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose civil penalties in order to vindicate the public interest. If the case is heard in federal court, the judge may also award punitive damages to the complainants.
Disability is the most common basis of complaint filed with HUD and its partner agencies. Last year alone, HUD considered more than 4,500 disability-related complaints or nearly 55 percent of all fair housing complaints.
People who believe they have experienced discrimination 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 and Android devices.
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.
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