Updated: Sep 17
By: Leona Rollins, Director of Investigations
The Housing Rights Center (HRC) recently received a mental disability complaint from unincorporated South Los Angeles. The Complainant (Cp) was a married, African American woman with mental disabilities. The complainant and her family were housing choice voucher recipients whose household income was dependent on governmental assistance benefits. Before contacting the HRC for assistance with her housing matter, the complainant entered into a stipulation agreement with her landlord agreeing to vacate the subject property on or before April 30, 2020.
In March 2020, the complainant, unfortunately, contracted and tested positive for COVID19. The complainant underwent a brief hospitalization and her medical providers recommended that she self-quarantines for a minimum of two weeks. During her recommended self-quarantine and the "Safer at Home" orders, the complainant was unable to work or obtain housing that would accommodate her and her disabilities. So, the complainant contacted the HRC for assistance in seeking a reasonable accommodation from her landlord.
After receiving her complaint, one of the HRC's trained Case Analysts, Bradley Thomas, contacted the landlord's attorney and requested a reasonable accommodation on behalf of the complainant. During their conversation, Mr. Thomas provided the landlord's attorney with information regarding the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Justice (DOJ)'s Joint Statements on Reasonable Accommodations.
The landlord's attorney stated that they would review the complainant's reasonable accommodation request with the landlord and follow up with Mr. Thomas and the HRC. Within twenty-four (24) hours, Mr. Thomas and the HRC received an email from the landlord's attorney stating that the landlord would abide by the fair housing laws and grant the complainant's reasonable accommodation request. After receiving written confirmation that the complainant's reasonable accommodation request was granted, Mr. Thomas and the HRC were elated to share this news with the complainant who is now able to focus on her health and overall well-being knowing that her housing is secured.