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Articles Tagged with housing discrimination in Northern California

deonny-rantetandung-115900-copy-300x200This summer, landlords in Greenbrae, California, settled a complaint brought by a female tenant with a disability and the Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California (FHANC) based on disability discrimination. The female tenant, Stacey Kitchin and FHANC alleged Shultz Investment Co. and Greenbrae Management, Inc. discriminated against the resident due to her medical condition and service animal when she lived at the Bon Air Apartments. Following an investigation into the allegations of discrimination by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the landlords settled with Kitchin and FHANC for $72,000.

Leading up to the Complaint and Settlement

Over a 15-year period, Kitchin was forced to endure discriminatory statements and retaliatory actions due to her service animal, including false claims that the small dog was disruptive, had bitten a maintenance worker, and was not a lawful service animal under California law. Despite receiving an approval for her service animal in 2010, she repeatedly received notices of lease violations due to the presence of her dog. In 2014, she then received a three-day Notice to Cure or Quit, requiring her to remove her service animal or leave. Kitchin’s attorney discussed the law with the landlord who rescinded the notice. However, the landlord continued to create and implement discriminatory policies regarding service animals. Eventually, these issues led to the cancellation of Kitchin’s Housing Assistance Program voucher, forcing her to move.

Few words can stir up as many emotions as the word “home” does.  Home should be a place where we feel safe, where we can let down our guard, be our truest selves, and feel love.  Everyone deserves a place to call home, regardless of age, race, or sex.  Likewise, individuals with disabilities have a moral, ethical, and legal right to be treated fairly when it comes to housing.  Sadly, housing discrimination is a very real problem and our San Francisco tenants’ attorney is committed to fighting for everyone’s right to a place to call home.

Proposed Settlement in Disability Discrimination Case Under Fair Housing Act

Last month, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a press release announcing a proposed settlement in a case against a Wisconsin landlord and property owner accused of discriminating based on disability in violation of the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”).  The lawsuit alleges that the defendants, one individual and one company, discriminated against a mother and daughter by refusing to renew their lease because the daughter is a person with Down Syndrome.  Further, the defendants allegedly demanded the family develop a “plan” to address behaviors purportedly stemming from the daughter’s disability and pressured them to move.  Additionally, the gavel3defendants were accused of discriminating against the pair by not taking prompt action to stop disability-related harassment by others living in the building including offensive comments (e.g., “You don’t belong here. . . you belong in an institution.”), interference with their use of the property, and following the pair around the premises.  Allegedly, complaints about this behavior went unaddressed.

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