HUD, PUERTO RICO CONDO ASSOCIATION REACH $1 MILLION DISCRIMINATION
SETTLEMENT CALLING FOR EXTENSIVE REPAIRS Inoperative elevators in high-rise towers harmed disabled resident
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has reached an agreement valued at $1 million with Condominium Association Isleta Marina in Puerto Real, Puerto Rico, settling allegations that the property’s inoperative elevators violated the federal Fair Housing Act based on disability. The resident who filed the complaint with HUD alleged that because of the non-working elevators, she was forced to climb up and down four flights of stairs when leaving and returning to her home, aggravating her mobility disability.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful for landlords to deny persons with disabilities equal opportunities to use and enjoy their homes.
“For persons with physical disabilities who live in multi-level buildings, having access to working elevators is essential for them to live their lives fully and independently,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “This settlement ensures they have access and that the condominium meets its fair housing responsibilities.”
The Agreement comes after the resident alleged that the condominium association refused to repair any of the four elevators in her building during the month of March 2011. The resident further alleged that the inoperative elevators limited the activities of other residents and visitors with mobility disabilities. Isleta Marina consists of 380 apartments in two high-rise towers, each with 11 floors.
Under the terms of the Agreement, the Condominium Association will replace four of the eight elevators in its two towers. In addition, the Association will issue a formal apology to the resident, and have all staff undergo fair housing training.
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