ATLANTA – October 8, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it has reached a Conciliation Agreement with Brookside Park Limited Partnership and Peabody Properties South, LLC, the owner and management company for Brookside Park Apartments in Atlanta, and a former property manager, settling allegations that they violated the Fair Housing Act by refusing to allow a tenant with disabilities to transfer to a first-floor unit.
The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in the terms and conditions of rental housing based on disability. This includes refusing to make reasonable accommodations such as allowing transfers necessitated by a person’s disability.
“Property owners and managers have an obligation to comply with the Fair Housing Act, which includes ensuring that their policies do not discriminate against persons with disabilities,” said Carlos Osegueda, HUD’s Region IV Director for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
The settlement is the result of an investigation HUD conducted after the tenant filed a complaint alleging that the manager of the complex denied her request to move to a ground-floor unit. The resident provided the manager with documentation from her doctor verifying her disability and need to move to a ground-floor unit, but the manager denied her request, even though a ground-floor unit was available.
Under the agreement, Brookside Park Limited Partnership and Peabody Properties South, LLC, will pay the resident $10,000 and inform all of their agents and employees, including officers and board members, of the terms of the agreement. In addition, prior to December 31, 2012, all management staff at Brookside Park Apartments must attend Fair Housing training conducted by HUD or another appropriate agency or facility approved by the Department.
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate approximately 10,000 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD. or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.