DFEH Settles Disability Discrimination Case Against San Diego Senior Housing Complex
December 17, 2018
For Immediate Release
Prospective tenant to receive $2,500 after allegedly being denied housing for use of wheelchair
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has reached a settlement with G and Church LTD, owner of Oak Terrace Senior Apartments, on behalf of a prospective tenant who alleged she was denied an apartment because she has a disability.
The prospective tenant filed a complaint with DFEH alleging that the Oak Terrace property manager initially approved her tenancy application, but rescinded the approval after meeting her and seeing that she uses a wheelchair. The prospective tenant’s daughter had handled most aspects of the application process, including viewing the unit. When the complainant arrived in a wheelchair to sign the lease, the property manager refused to rent an apartment to her, andaccused her and her daughter of misrepresenting the prospective tenant’s identity by bringing other individuals to view the unit.
After DFEH found cause to believe a violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act had occurred, the parties engaged in mediation, resulting in a settlement in which G and Church will pay the complainant $2,500. In addition to a monetary settlement, G and Church has agreed to obtain fair housing training for its employees, maintain records of all rental application decisions for one year, and display fair housing posters at the apartment complex to inform tenants of their rights.
“The Fair Employment and Housing Act promises that all tenants, regardless of disability, have equal access to housing,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “Housing providers have a legal obligation to eliminate unlawful bias from every stage of the housing application process.”
Staff Counsel Jennet Zapata and Civil Rights Fellow Jennifer Reynolds represented DFEH in this proceeding.
CRD is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. Formerly known as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the mission of CRD is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-fund programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit calcivilrights.ca.gov.