Fair Housing

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Fair Housing Trends – 2015

As we approach the end of the year, it is interesting to look back on 2015 and review the trends in fair housing that affect how we manage our properties. 2015 was an extremely active year from a fair housing…

Local Ordinances and Assistance Animals

Apartment owners and managers are well aware that when required due to the disability of an applicant or a resident, no matter what a property’s policy on pets may be, fair housing law requires that individuals with disabilities be permitted…

HUD Moving Aggressively on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is moving forward aggressively with the departments new “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” campaign to desegregate the country’s primarily white neighborhoods. Rockford, IL will be an early test for HUD’s ability to impose…

Assistance Animals – A Reminder on What is Required

On July 15, 2015, HUD charged the owners and manager of Viking Villas, a 36-unit apartment complex in Sioux Falls, SD, with a violation of the Fair Housing Act for refusing to grant a reasonable accommodation to a disabled resident…

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing – HUD Final Rule

On July 8, 2015, the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) issued a final rule on the procedures that must be followed by localities with regard to affirmatively furthering fair housing. The rule directs HUD program participants to take…

HUD Guidance on First Amendment Conflict with Fair Housing

HUD Guidance on First Amendment Conflict with Fair Housing   The Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) published Notice FHEA-2015-01 on May 26, 2015. The title of the Notice is Substantive and Procedural Limitations on Filing and Investigating Fair…

Supreme Court Decision on Disparate Impact, June 25, 2015

Supreme Court Rules on Disparate Impact   On June 25, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling on Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Community Project, Inc. The ruling found that housing policies…

Medical Marijuana as a Reasonable Accommodation

Forest City Residential Management v. Beasley, December 2014.   In one of the first major cases relating to whether the use of medically prescribed marijuana must be permitted as a reasonable accommodation, a Michigan district court has ruled that such…

“Indepent Living” Requirement Discriminatory

As if to put an exclamation point on its’ requirement that the ability to live independently not be a condition of apartment living, HUD has reached a conciliation agreement with Huntington Management, operators of five “independent living” properties known as…

Supreme Court to Hear Disparate Impact Fair Housing Case

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to accept a petition to consider the case Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs (TDHCA) v. Inclusive Communities.   Background Inclusive Communities successfully argued to the lower courts that TDHCA allocated low-income…

Medical Marijuana and Multifamily Housing

Medical Marijuana and Multifamily Housing   An increasing number of states are legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey,…

Medical Marijuana Presents Management Challenges

As of April 2014, 21 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and two states – Washington and Colorado – have legalized recreational use of marijuana. This creates a number of issues for owners and managers of…

Casual Statements Can be Deemed Discriminatory

Leasing staff and others working at apartment communities should be warned about making small talk with applicants at their properties. A Massachusetts real estate broker recently learned the hard way that even a casual remark – with no ill intent…

Hoarding is Now Considered a Disability

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has recently announced that compulsive hoarding is now considered a mental disability, and is therefore protected under the nation’s various disability related laws; this includes the fair housing laws under The Civil Rights Act of…

DOJ Aggressively Pursuing Accessibility Cases

On February 24, 2014, the Department of Justice announced that a federal district court in Jackson, MS approved a settlement of a DOJ lawsuit against the original owners and developers of nine apartment complexes in Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. The…

Domestic Violence Policies

Public housing and assisted housing communities (as well as Low-Income Housing Tax Credit [LIHTC] projects) are subject to the requirements of the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA). HUD is currently developing regulations to implement the VAWA provisions passed into law…

Fair Housing Reminders During the Holidays

As we approach the holiday season, it is important to remember the fair housing prohibition against discrimination on the basis of religion. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being festive during the holidays. Seasonal decorations do not have to be…

Senate Bill Amending the Fair Housing Act Introduced

S. 1242, A Bill to Amend the Fair Housing Act, and for Other Purposes, was introduced in the Senate on June 27, 2013, and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The short title of the bill is “Housing Opportunities…

HUD Provides Updated Guidance Regarding Assistance Animals

HUD Issues Notice Clarifying Service Animal Issues   On April 25, 2013, HUD issues FHEO Notice 2013-01, Service Animals and Assistance Animals for People with Disabilities in Housing and HUD-Funded Programs. This notice provides additional clarification of housing provider obligations…

HUD Creates Fair Housing App for iPhone and iPad

            On February 28, 2013, HUD released a housing discrimination mobile application for iPhone and iPad. The App is designed to provide the public with a quick and easy way to file housing discrimination complaints and…
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