The Justice Department announced that the Housing Authority (HACB), doing business as Park City Communities, has settled after complaints that they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Act.
The agreement filed this week in U.S. District Court, requires HACB to institute broad reforms to safeguard the rights of individuals with disabilities, including revising its policies and processes for handling reasonable accommodation requests and developing an inventory of accessible units for tenants with mobility, vision, and hearing-related disabilities.
The settlement also requires HACB to pay $1,500,000 in restitution and a $25,000 civil penalty to the United States.
HACB owns and manages more than 2,500 units of public housing and an additional 2,800 vouchers under the U.S> Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.
The lawsuit came following a compliance review by HUD. The case was later referred to the Justice Department.
A complaint was filed in November 2017, that alleged HACB failed to properly process, decide, and fulfill requests for reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities. The complaint also alleged that HACB failed to provide a sufficient number of public housing units that are accessible to tenants with mobility, vision, or hearing-related disabilities.
“This settlement will ensure that tenants with disabilities have the same opportunity to use and enjoy their homes as everyone else,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division said. “Individuals who seek reasonable accommodations from the Housing Authority of Bridgeport will now have access to a process that is easier to navigate, provides timely responses, and includes all of the protections afforded by federal civil rights laws. In addition, by bringing its housing inventory into compliance with accessibility requirements for tenants with mobility, vision, and hearing-related impairments, the Housing Authority will be better able to meet the needs of its residents and community.”
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