Landlord Sued Over Waiting List

A landlord in Nebraska discriminated against a tenant with a disability by passing her over for a chance at a more accessible apartment.

The landlord agreed to pay the woman $22,000 to settle the claim.

The tenant, who uses a wheelchair and walker, had been living in an upstairs unit. She claims the management agreed to waitlist her for the first available ground-floor unit. The resident also claimed that the apartment management denied her requests for a parking space and a ramp to ease her access to her unit.

The tenant claims that when a ground-floor unit became available, the manager leased it to a staff person who had requested the unit after the resident did. While remaining in the inaccessible unit, the resident says that she suffered significant injuries on the stair to her bedroom and bathroom. Months later, the resident transferred to a unit on the ground floor bedroom, but she claims that the management continued to refuse her repeated requests for a ramp to ease access to her unit, a parking space for her handicapped-accessible van, and an accessible route from the parking lot to her unit.

Persons with disabilities arent asking for special treatment when they request reasonable accommodations, said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. Ground-floor rooms, designated parking spaces, and ramps may be necessary for persons with disabilities to conduct everyday activities and gain independence in their daily living.”

In addition to paying the resident $22,000, the landlord agreed to revise leasing policies, redesign an accessible unit located on an accessible route, and leading to an accessible parking space in order to meet Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards requirements, alter the complexs seven designated accessible parking spaces to include curb cuts, and post signage marking the spaces. In addition, the owner, management agents, and staff will receive two hours of training on the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

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