Illinois Community to Pay $255K to Settle Disability Discrimination Claims
The owner and operator of a 500-unit HUD-subsidized apartment complex in Illinois recently agreed to pay $255,000 to settle allegations of disability discrimination and retaliation, according to a recent announcement by HUD.
The voluntary settlement is the result of complaints filed on behalf of two residents with disabilities, accusing the community of violating fair housing laws when it failed to meet the needs of persons with disabilities and retaliated against a resident with disabilities for requesting a reasonable accommodation. Allegedly, the community assigned a mobility-impaired resident to a third-floor unit in a building with no elevator, and threatened her with eviction for having her adult daughter, who was serving as her caregiver, in the unit, even though she had documentation verifying her disability and need for the accommodation.
Under the settlement, the community owner will pay $255,000, which includes attorney fees, to the two individuals who filed complaints and work with a local fair housing organization to develop a new reasonable accommodation policy. The complex will also conduct a needs assessment of current tenants and applicants who require accessible units to determine if their needs are being met and ensure that 5 percent of its units are fully accessible, either by constructing new units or converting existing units.
"No one with a disability should be denied the accommodations they need to fully enjoy their home," HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Gustavo Velasquez said in a statement. "This agreement reflects HUD's commitment to working with housing providers, including owners of HUD-funded housing, to meet their obligation to comply with the nation's fair housing laws."