January 2013 Coach's Quiz
We’ve described the seven deadly recurring fair housing sins—along with strategies to help you avoid committing them. 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. Good luck!
You have unassigned parking at your community. One day, a resident stops by the leasing office and says that she needs an assigned parking space near her unit because of difficulty walking long distances. She doesn’t appear to have any mobility problems—in fact, you saw her out walking her dog earlier that day. You should:
a. Explain that there’s no assigned parking under your community’s policies;
b. Tell her you’ll look into it, and then forget it—she’s obviously not disabled;
c. Find out why she needs the space by asking what’s the matter with her; or
d. Ask her to fill out your standard form for reasonable accommodation requests.
Which animals may qualify as assistance animals under federal fair housing law?
d. None of the above;
e. All of the above.
In your marketing materials, both in print and online, you’ve included photos of models enjoying various amenities at the community. All the models are white, but that’s okay under fair housing law since most of your residents are white. True or false?
Some long-term residents have complained about new neighbors who allow their children to play outside unsupervised after school. They say the children are running around and playing loudly and urge you to require adult supervision for the outside activities of children under 12. Though you want to placate the neighbors, such a policy could trigger a discrimination complaint from the new residents. True or false?
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: d
Reason: This is an example of Deadly Sin #1:
Deadly Sin #1: Improperly Handling Reasonable Accommodation or Modification Requests
Whatever you think of her request, the resident’s statement that she needs an assigned parking space because of difficulties walking amounts to a request for a reasonable accommodation under federal fair housing law. Under the FHA, a resident or applicant makes a reasonable accommodation request whenever she makes it clear that she asks for an exception or change to a rule, policy, practice, or service because of a disability.
Wrong answers explained:
a. Even though your community has a policy of unassigned parking, you may have to make an exception as a reasonable accommodation for an individual with a disability.
b. The FHA’s disability provisions cover a wide variety of impairments that may affect an individual’s mobility, so it’s unlawful to ignore her request simply because she doesn’t appear to be disabled.
c. You risk fair housing problems by quizzing her about what’s wrong with her. In general, the law bans communities from asking applicants and residents questions about whether they are disabled, or the nature or severity of their disability. Though there’s an exception when the resident asks for a reasonable accommodation, it would be better to follow standard procedures to request reliable disability-related information from an individual who doesn’t have an apparent disability.
Correct answer: e
Reason: This is an example of Deadly Sin #2:
Deadly Sin #2: Treating Assistance Animals as Pets
Although you may be familiar with these animals as pets, any of them could qualify as an assistance animal under the FHA. According to HUD, species other than dogs, with or without training, and animals that provide emotional support have been recognized as necessary assistance animals under the reasonable accommodation provisions of the FHA.
Correct answer: b
Reason: This is an example of Deadly Sin #4:
Deadly Sin #4: Discriminating Based on Race
Under the FHA, it’s unlawful to make or publish any statement, including advertising, that expresses a preference for or against anyone based on race and other protected characteristics. Use of white-only models, even if it reflects the racial characteristics of your community, could suggest a preference against African Americans and other minorities.
Correct answer: a
Reason: This is an example of Deadly Sin #6:
Deadly Sin #6: Imposing Overly Restrictive Rules on Families with Children
Adopting and enforcing policies that target children could trigger a claim of discrimination based on familial status. You may take steps to address the residents’ complaints, but a blanket policy requiring adult supervision of children under 12 is likely to be considered unduly restrictive.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|Deadly Fair Housing Sins: Old and New|