September 27, 2012
HUD, SOUTH FLORIDA CONDO ASSOCIATION REACH AGREEMENT SETTLING CLAIM THAT ASSOCIATION DISCRIMINATED AGAINST DISABLED RESIDENT
MIAMI - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has reached a Conciliation Agreement with Point Three East Condominium Association in Aventura, FL, settling allegations that the association refused to allow a resident to keep an emotional support animal, even though the resident provided medical documentation attesting to her need for the accommodation.
The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in the terms and conditions of rental housing based on disability, including denying a reasonable accommodation to a person with a disability.
"Condo associations are not exempt from adherence to the Fair Housing Act," said Carlos Osegueda, HUD's Region IV director for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Their policies and practices cannot discriminate against persons with disabilities, and HUD will continue to take action anytime we find that they do."
In addition to determining that the association's board unlawfully refused to allow the resident to keep her support animal, HUD's investigation revealed that some of the same board members who supported denying the resident's request had or had previously had animals in their units.
Under the agreement, Point East Three Condominium Association will allow the resident to keep her emotional support animal and pay her $18,000. In addition, the condominium association will enact a reasonable accommodation policy and obtain fair housing training for all of its board members.
HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (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 1 (800) 669-9777 (voice) or 1 (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 @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.