WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that Hudson Harbour Condominium Association in Edgewater, New Jersey, will pay $30,000 pursuant to a Consent Order resolving allegations that they discriminated against a resident with disabilities by denying her the right to have a dog as an assistance animal. Read the Order.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to persons with disabilities or from refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices. This includes not allowing people with disabilities (impairments that substantially limit major life activities) to have assistance animals that perform work or tasks, or that provide disability-related emotional support.
“No person with a disability should be denied the reasonable accommodation they need to make a home for themselves,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Hopefully, today’s action will remind homeowner associations of their obligations under the Fair Housing Act and encourage them to follow the law.”
The Consent Order is the result of a charge that HUD filed against Hudson Harbour Condominium Association in October 2018, alleging that the Association discriminated against a resident with disabilities for having an assistance animal. HUD’s charge alleged that the Association required the resident, who is a person with hearing and sight disabilities, to cage her animal in common areas and use the service entrance when entering and exiting the building with the animal.
Under the Order, the Association will pay $30,000 to the resident and adopt a reasonable accommodation policy, approved by HUD, that complies with the Fair Housing Act. In addition, Association board members and employees who have contact with residents of the building will attend fair housing training.
“As the primary agency tasked with enforcing the Fair Housing Act, HUD works to protect the right to housing free from discrimination, including for individuals with disabilities,” said Paul Compton, HUD’s General Counsel.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (Voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing, or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.