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HUD To Charge Landlord With Disability Discrimination

HUD charges the property manager of a dwelling in Jamestown, New York to discriminate against a tenant based on disability. 

September 21, 2023

Ronit Mecham Voyl Tom Mecham, the property manager of a dwelling in Jamestown, New York has been charged for violating the Fair Housing Act by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The charge said that the owner and property manager refused to allow a disabled tenant to live with her assistance animal inside the apartment. 

The Fair Housing Act strictly prohibits discrimination based on disability such as refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities. This is done to provide equal opportunity for disabled individuals to enjoy housing. The Act also prohibits statements indicating a preference or limitation based on disability. 

HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Demetria L. McCain said, “Assistance animals provide people with disabilities the support they need to enjoy the benefits of their housing. HUD is committed to zealously enforcing the Act to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities.”

HUD has charged Respondents with discrimination for denying a tenant’s request for an assistance animal. Despite the tenant’s offer to provide medical documentation, Respondents ceased communication and reportedly showed a preference for non-disabled tenants.

HUD’s General Counsel Damon Smith said, “The Fair Housing Act requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations that are necessary for an individual with disabilities to have equal enjoyment of housing. That can include making exceptions to animal prohibitions.”

HUD’s charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party chooses to have the case heard in Federal District Court. If the judge finds that the discrimination has occurred, he may ask the property manager to pay the damages. The judge may also order other relief to deter further discrimination and payment of attorney fees. Besides this, civil penalties can also be imposed by a Judge. 

Consequently, if you believe that you have been the victim of housing discrimination, feel free to reach out to HUD or the Department of Justice.

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The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.

Department of Housing and Urban Development. “HUD Charges Landlord with Disability Discrimination”. Department of Housing and Urban Development, September 18, 2023, 

HUD Charges Landlord with Disability Discrimination | HUD.gov / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

 

Last Updated: September 20, 2021