HUD Settles with California PHA Over Disability Discrimination Complaint
HUD recently announced that it has reached a conciliation agreement with the Richmond Housing Authority (RHA) in Richmond, Calif., settling allegations that it discriminated against a resident with disabilities.
The agreement is the result of a complaint that was filed by a resident with a disability alleging that the RHA failed to renew his Housing Choice Voucher before it expired. According to the complaint, the resident submitted a request to have his voucher renewed before it expired, but RHA thought that he didn’t want the voucher renewed. The complaint alleged that Bay Area Legal Aid, a HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agency, sent several letters and emails to the housing authority requesting that it reinstate the voucher as a reasonable accommodation, since any miscommunication may have been due to the resident’s disability, but the housing authority refused. As a result, the resident was forced to place his belongings in storage and live in homeless shelters and with relatives.
Under the terms of the agreement, the RHA will pay the resident $5,833 as reimbursement for the storage fees, and provide a new Housing Choice Voucher. The agreement also requires RHA staff to obtain fair housing training.