December 2012 Coach's Quiz
We’ve given you five rules for complying with fair housing law when dealing with people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Now let’s look at how the rules might apply in the real world. Take the COACH’s Quiz to see what you’ve learned.
INSTRUCTIONS: Each of the following questions has only one correct answer. On a separate piece of paper, write down the number of each question, followed by the answer you think is correct—for example, (1) b, (2) a, and so on. The correct answers (with explanations) follow the quiz.
And this month, there’s an extra credit assignment: Judge for Yourself, a description of an actual fair housing case. Test yourself on whether you think the community could face a fair housing problem, and then check the summary to see how much you have learned.
On a particularly busy day, you answer a call from someone who identifies herself as a relay service operator facilitating a call for a prospect who is deaf. She explains the relay process and then reads the prospect’s question about the availability of one-bedroom units at the community. You respond to a few of his questions, but the call is taking longer than expected, so you refer the prospect to your Web site for more information about the community. Although you accepted the relay call, you could still be accused of violating fair housing law. True or false?
A resident who is hard of hearing recently moved into your community and asks you to install visual smoke detectors in her unit. Since all your units are equipped with conventional smoke detectors, you should grant her request. True or false?
JUDGE FOR YOURSELF
Despite a policy prohibiting dogs at the community, a community learns that a woman who moved in with a long-term resident a few years ago recently adopted a dog from a local animal shelter.
Based on the policy, the community sends a violation notice requiring removal of the dog. In response, the woman and the resident say that the dog is an assistance animal and provide a medical note stating that the woman is disabled and her condition necessitates an assistance animal to provide emotional support and help her function independently. Denying the request, the community advises the woman to choose between removing the dog and applying for residency or leaving the property altogether.
A few weeks later, the community sends an eviction notice of both of the unit occupants for refusal to adhere to community rules regarding guests and animals. In response, the woman and the resident send another note from a doctor, saying that the woman is disabled under the FHA and that in addition to being an emotional support animal, the dog also provides services related to her deafness. According to the woman, she and a neighbor trained the dog to alert her to sounds such as doorbells and alarms.
Meanwhile, the woman asks to be added as a resident, but no action is taken when she submits the required form.
Could the community be accused of violating fair housing law?
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rule #1 applies here:
Rule #1: Welcome Contacts from Prospects Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
It’s unlawful to refuse to accept relay calls, but you could also be accused of discrimination if you treated the prospect differently than other callers because he used the relay system to contact your office. It’s important to provide prospects using the relay system with the same information about prices, availability, and rental qualifications as provided to prospects making standard telephone calls.
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rule #3 applies here:
Rule #3: Grant Reasonable Requests for Visual Smoke Detectors and Other Safety Devices
If your community provides conventional smoke detectors to all residents, then you must provide the visual equivalent of those devices to disabled residents so that they are on equal footing with nondisabled residents.
ANSWER: JUDGE FOR YOURSELF
Based on these allegations, HUD recently charged a New Hampshire mobile home park for multiple violations of federal fair housing law. The case will be heard by an administrative law judge unless any of the parties elect to have the case heard in federal district court.
HUD accused the mobile home park of multiple violations of the FHA against both the woman and the resident. Among other things, HUD alleged that the community discriminated against the woman by refusing her request to keep the dog as a reasonable accommodation and by refusing to allow her to become part of the resident’s household and trying to evict her because of a disability. HUD also alleged that the community discriminated against the resident for attempting to evict him because of his association with an individual with a disability [Secretary, HUD v. Talgar General Partnership, February 2012].
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|How to Comply with Fair Housing Law When Dealing with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing|