|HUD No. 21-157
HUD Public Affairs
September 24, 2021
HUD APPROVES AGREEMENT WITH HOUSING AUTHORITY OF MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA, RESOLVING CLAIMS OF DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has approved a Conciliation/Voluntary Compliance Agreement between the Housing Authority of Maricopa County, in Mesa, Arizona, and one of its residents who has a mental health disability. The Agreement resolves claims that the housing authority failed to fulfill a reasonable accommodation request to provide the tenant's brother with copies of all correspondence sent to the tenant, resulting in the tenant failing to respond to a recertification notice and being evicted. Read the Agreement.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from discriminating against people with disabilities, including refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices when such accommodations may be necessary to provide persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling.
"Reasonable accommodations don't just make life easier for persons with disabilities - they ensure equal opportunity. In some instances, they can mean the difference between keeping or losing the place a person calls home," said Demetria McCain, HUD's Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "HUD remains committed to doing all it can to ensure that housing providers meet their obligation to comply with the nation's housing laws."
The case came to HUD's attention when the tenant filed a fair housing complaint alleging that the housing authority failed to provide her brother with copies of all correspondence, including her recertification notice, as part of a reasonable accommodation the tenant had in place. The tenant also alleged that the housing authority violated Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by recipients of federal financial assistance. As a result of the housing authority's failure to provide the tenant's brother with her recertification notice, the tenant lost her housing.
Under the Agreement, the housing authority will pay $10,000 to the tenant and provide fair housing training for its employees who work with the public. The housing authority will also vacate the tenant's eviction and waive the $3,516 eviction judgment that had been entered against her.
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) 877-8339 (Relay). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to hud.gov/fairhousing.
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