HUD Settles Another Fair Housing Act Violation Case – NMP Skip to main content

HUD Settles Another Fair Housing Act Violation Case

NationalMortgageProfessional.com
Jun 11, 2014

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has announced that it has entered into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement with the Englewood Housing Authority (EHA) in Englewood, Colo., settling allegations that EHA violated the Fair Housing Act when it implemented a point system at Orchard Place Apartments that effectively denied housing to applicants with disabilities unless they were elderly. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of a dwelling on the basis of disability. In addition, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. The agreement is the result of a HUD review which found that EHA imposed a policy that discriminated against Orchard Place non-elderly families with disabilities by implementing a preference point system effectively excluded families with disabilities who were not elderly from living at Orchard Place even though the complex was designated as a “mixed population development,” serving seniors over age 62 and individuals with disabilities on an equal basis. During its review, HUD found that EHA imposed a preference point system that gave points to disabled applicants based on age. Specifically, HUD found that the housing authority assigned qualified elderly families with disabilities 100 preference points, while equally qualified non-elderly families with disabilities were assigned 80 points. HUD further determined that the housing authority, in July 2011, implemented a similar point system that gave elderly families with disabilities 20 points; elderly families 10 points; and non-elderly families with disabilities 10 points. The effect of both systems was that applicant families with elderly disabled members were uniformly placed on the waiting list in front of families with non-elderly disabled members who had applied years earlier. Under the terms of the agreement, the Englewood Housing Authority will eliminate the preference point system and reorder its waiting list to place applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, the housing authority agreed to undertake outreach activities to underserved populations, comply with additional oversight from HUD, and provide fair housing training for its employees. “Federal law requires that properties designated as mixed housing serve individuals with disabilities equally, regardless of age,” said Dave Ziaya, HUD's acting assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “This agreement will help ensure that persons with disabilities will have access to housing opportunities at Englewood.”
Published
Jun 11, 2014
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