Condo Association to Pay $1M in Disability Discrimination Case

A condominium association in Puerto Rico recently reached a $1 million agreement with HUD to settle allegations that the property’s inoperative elevators violated the federal fair housing law based on disability.

The complaint was filed by a resident of the 380-unit property, which consists of two high-rise towers, each with 11 floors. According to the resident, the condominium association refused to repair any of the four elevators in her building during the month of March 2011. Because of the non-working elevators, she said she was forced to climb up and down four flights of stairs when leaving and returning to her home, aggravating her mobility disability. She also alleged that the inoperative elevators limited the activities of other residents and visitors with mobility disabilities.

Under the settlement, the association agreed to replace four of the eight elevators in its two towers. In addition, the association agreed to issue a formal apology to the resident and to have all staff undergo fair housing training.

“For persons with physical disabilities who live in multi-level buildings, having access to working elevators is essential for them to live their lives fully and independently,” John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “This settlement ensures they have access and that the condominium meets its fair housing responsibilities.”

Source: HUD