|HUD No. 18-073
HUD Public Affairs
July 18, 2018
HUD APPROVES AGREEMENT WITH MOBILE HOUSING BOARD RESOLVING CLAIMS OF DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION
Agreement also focuses on use of Housing Choice Voucher program and hiring of low-income residents for HUD-Funded projects
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has approved a Voluntary Compliance/Conciliation Agreement between Mobile Housing Board (MHB), in Mobile, AL, and a woman with disabilities. The agreement resolves allegations that the Board denied the woman's request for a Housing Choice Voucher.
The agreement also addresses the findings of a compliance review HUD conducted, which found that the board failed to meet the statutory and regulatory requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 3 of the Housing and Development Act of 1968. Read the agreement.
Section 504 and HUD's implementing regulations require that five percent of the dwelling units in multifamily housing projects, or at least one unit, whichever is greater, be accessible for persons with mobility impairments. An additional two percent of the dwelling units, or at least one unit, whichever is greater, must be accessible for persons with hearing or visual impairments. Units must also be constructed in accordance with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/buildings-and-sites/about-the-aba-standards/background/ufas?highlight=WyJ1ZmFzIl0=) or HUD's Deeming Notice, the Fair Housing Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In addition. Section 3 requires that recipients of HUD funds, to the greatest extent feasible, direct employment and other economic opportunities generated by certain HUD covered projects and activities to low- and very-low income persons and to businesses that hire them.
"When organizations that control access to housing fail to meet their responsibilities under the nation's housing laws, it makes finding suitable housing even more difficult, especially for persons with disabilities," said Anna María Farías, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "The agreement we are announcing today is yet another example of HUD's commitment to meeting its obligation to protect the rights of individuals and families seeking housing."
The case began when a woman with disabilities filed a complaint with HUD alleging that the MHB, which provides and administers affordable housing programs for the residents of Mobile, violated her housing rights. HUD's review of MHB's voucher program found that it denied individuals the opportunity to use Housing Choice Vouchers. In addition, a subsequent Compliance Review conducted by HUD found that MHB failed to build units in accordance with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards, and failed to abide by the hiring and employment requirements of the Section 3 program.
Under the terms of the agreement, MHB will pay the woman $117,500; issue her a Housing Choice Voucher; and allocate $114,000 for Section 504-related improvements at the Downtown Renaissance ($61,500), Renaissance Gardens ($19,200); and The Renaissance ($33,300). The agreement also requires MHB to appoint a qualified individual to serve as MHB's Section 3 coordinator and assist contractors with the development of Section 3 plans needed to qualify for contracting opportunities.
Persons 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.
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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