WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that it is charging Post Presidential Property Owner, LLC, and Post Commercial Real Estate, LLC, the owner and manager respectively of Presidential City Apartments in Philadelphia, with disability discrimination. Specifically, HUD’s charge alleges that Housing Equality Center of Pennsylvania conducted testing concerning whether the owner and management company were rejecting reasonable accommodation requests, including requests for waivers of pet fees for assistance animals and for designated parking spaces. According to the Charge, HECP’s testing revealed discrimination against persons with disabilities. Read HUD’s Charge.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on disabilities, including denying reasonable accommodation requests for the waiver of pet fees for assistance animals and rejecting requests for a designated handicapped parking space needed by a person with a disability.
“Reasonable accommodations enable persons with disabilities to fully utilize and enjoy their homes and shouldn’t be denied,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue taking action to protect their rights by ensuring that housing providers meet their obligations under the Fair Housing Act.”
“HUD will vigorously enforce the rights of persons with disabilities to receive the reasonable accommodations they need to enjoy their homes,” said Michael B. Williams, HUD’s Principal Deputy General Counsel.
HUD’s charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he or she may award damages to the complainants for harm caused by the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney’s fees. In addition, the judge may impose fines to vindicate the public interest. If the matter is decided in federal court, the judge may also award punitive damages.