California Housing Authority Settles Dispute over Grab Bars

In July 2020, HUD announced that it has approved a settlement requiring a California housing authority to pay $7,500 to a resident with a disability to resolve allegations that its staff violated fair housing law when they delayed installing additional grab bars in a unit in response to the resident’s reasonable accommodation request.

Federal fair housing law prohibits housing providers from denying reasonable accommodation requests that may be necessary to allow a person the opportunity to use and enjoy their home. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by recipients of federal financial assistance, and requires that recipients of federal financial assistance bring their programs and activities into compliance with federal accessibility requirements. In addition, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act bars state and local governmental entities from discriminating on the basis of disability in all services, activities, and programs.

“For persons with disabilities, a reasonable accommodation can allow them to fully enjoy the place they call home,” Anna María Farías, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “Today’s agreement represents HUD’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that housing providers meet their obligation to comply with the nation’s housing laws.”