|HUD No. 22-167
HUD Public Affairs
September 12, 2022
HUD Announces Agreement with Hawaii Homeless Shelter Resolving Claims of Disability Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has entered into a Voluntary Compliance and Conciliation Agreement with Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Centers, Inc. (KHAKO) in Wailuku, Hawaii; its staff, Monique Ibarra (formerly Monique Yamashita), Executive Director, Mary Nakooka, Housing Program Manager, and Edna Kama, Westside Operations Manager; Cameron Konanui, former Operations Staff at KHAKO; and the County of Maui, owner of the subject property, KHAKO's Westside Center, located in Lahaina, Hawaii, resolving allegations that they discriminated against a tenant with disabilities by failing to offer her reasonable accommodations and subjecting her to harassment and retaliation. The Respondents deny having discriminated against the Complainant. Read the Voluntary Compliance and Conciliation Agreement here.
"Protecting the fair housing rights of people with disabilities is central to the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity's mission," said Demetria L. McCain, HUD's Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "We are pleased that this settlement will provide compensation to the complainant. HUD remains committed to ensuring that all housing providers meet their fair housing obligations."
The case came to HUD's attention when the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, an organization that helps consumers fight housing discrimination, filed a complaint on behalf of a woman who sought housing at the respondents'/recipients' homeless shelter. The complainant's allegations include that the employees at the shelter denied her reasonable accommodation requests for a single unit instead of a shared room, as well as her request to be allowed to leave her dorm after the curfew in order for her to access supplies related to her medical needs.
Under the terms of the Agreement, KHAKO has agreed to pay the complainant $19,000, adopt and follow non-discrimination and fair housing policies, and send its employees to training on their obligations under the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The County of Maui has agreed to pay the complainant $10,000. Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Centers, Inc., Monique Ibarra, Mary Nakooka, Edna Kama, Cameron Konanui, and the County of Maui deny any violation of the law, and their entering into the Voluntary Compliance and Conciliation Agreement does not constitute an admission by them or evidence of a determination by the Department of any violation of the Fair Housing Act or any other law.
Individuals who believe they have experienced discrimination in housing may file a complaint by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (Federal Relay Service).
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