Disability Access Violations Found in LA’s Affordable Housing
HUD recently issued a letter to the City of Los Angeles, detailing the city’s ongoing failure to provide accessible housing for low-income persons with disabilities. HUD’s Supplemental Letter of Findings expands on observations the department first made in 2012 when it notified the city of its noncompliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Since that time, the city has knowingly failed to comply with federal accessibility requirements and is compounding inaccessibility in its affordable housing program.
Los Angeles receives substantial financial assistance from HUD to support community development and affordable housing. Since 2005, HUD allocated more than $1.5 billion to support Los Angeles’ community development and affordable housing needs, including to build and rehabilitate affordable, accessible housing for families with low-to-moderate incomes. Federal accessibility laws require that the city provide people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from its affordable housing. Despite this, the city continues to exclude persons with disabilities from hundreds of its affordable housing developments by permitting discriminatory practices, funding construction that doesn’t comply with federal standards for accessible design, and failing to correct noncompliant properties. At all 120 housing developments surveyed from the city’s affordable housing portfolio as part of this review, HUD found significant accessibility violations.
Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all programs, services, and activities of public entities.