DFEH Settles Housing Discrimination Case Against Bay Area Landlord
January 15, 2020
For Immediate Release
Tenant with mobility disability confined to her third-floor apartment due to inoperable elevator
Sacramento – The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has reached a settlement in a housing disability discrimination case with Corporation for Better Housing, 59 Carol Ln., L.P., Domus Management Company, and WinnResidential California, L.P. involving a complainant who alleged that she was unable to leave her apartment due to an inoperable elevator in the complex.
The complainant, who relies solely on a wheelchair for mobility, filed a complaint with DFEH in June 2018 alleging that the owners and property managers of the Commons at Oak Grove apartments in Oakley, California failed to accommodate her disability when the elevator in her complex became inoperable and she was unable to leave her third-floor apartment. The complainant requested a transfer to a first-floor apartment as an accommodation. Despite the availability of an apartment on the first floor, her request was delayed for more than one year.
DFEH found cause to believe a violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act had occurred. Following a mandatory mediation, respondents agreed to pay the complainant to resolve the claims.
“All housing providers in California, including owners and property management companies, must provide reasonable accommodations to tenants with disabilities,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “This can include transferring tenants to an available unit if doing so would afford them equal access to their housing accommodations.”
In addition to a monetary settlement, each respondent will undergo fair housing training annually for a period of five years. In addition, they will post DFEH fair housing posters in the complex, distribute fair housing informational materials to all of their tenants in California, and will report compliance to the DFEH on an ongoing basis.
Alexandra Seldin, Senior Staff Counsel, and DFEH Legal Interns Daisy Flores and Alexis Mondares 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.
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