|HUD No. 22-203
HUD Public Affairs
October 4, 2022
HUD Charges Dallas-Area Housing Providers for Failing to Accommodate Individuals with Disabilities
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging Brockbk JV LLC, Dallas Redevelopment Equities LLC, Alden Short, Inc., and Sam Matalone, owners and operators of single-family rental homes in the Dallas metropolitan area, with discriminating against tenants with disabilities. Specifically, HUD alleges that the housing providers refused to modify the monthly payment date and waive late fees for two tenants who use Social Security Disability Income to pay their rent. Read the Charge.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination because of disability. This form of discrimination includes refusing to waive policies as a reasonable accommodation for tenants with disabilities, so they have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their housing. A reasonable accommodation may include modifying the rent due date and waiving late fees for individuals receiving disability-based Social Security benefits.
HUD's Charge of Discrimination alleges that the tenants receive their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments on or about the second day of the month, making it impossible for them to use that payment to pay rent on the first of the month, as the housing provider generally requires. Although for seven years the tenants' prior property manager had permitted them to pay their rent before the fifth day of the month, the new property manager refused to continue the accommodation and charged the tenants late fees. The new property manager issued the tenants notices terminating their tenancy, after they repeatedly asked that the accommodation be reinstated, indicated they would file a fair housing complaint and ultimately filed a complaint.
"Housing providers must provide necessary modifications in policies so that tenants with disabilities can have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their home," said Demetria L. McCain, HUD Principal Assistant Deputy Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Today's Charge demonstrates HUD's ongoing commitment to take appropriate action when housing providers fail to comply with the Fair Housing Act."
"The Fair Housing Act requires housing providers to provide accommodations that are reasonable and necessary, which may include making changes in rental payment due dates for tenants who receive Social Security Disability Income," said HUD General Counsel Damon Smith. "HUD is committed to vigorously enforcing the Act to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities."
A United States Administrative Law Judge will hear HUD's Charge 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, the judge may award damages to the tenants for their losses as a result of the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, to deter further discrimination, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose civil penalties to vindicate the public interest. If the federal court hears the case, the judge may also award punitive damages to the tenants.
People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 (voice) 800-927-9275 (TTY). Additional information is available at www.hud.gov/fairhousing. Materials and assistance are available for persons with limited English proficiency. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the Department using the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
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