HUD: 55-and-older community can’t ban disabled child

WASHINGTON – Dec. 19, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that Tamaron Association – which represents residents of a 55-and-older condominium development in Waldwick, New Jersey – will pay $9,000 under an Initial Decision and Consent Order resolving allegations that the association refused to sell a condo to a man with disabilities and his wife because the couple planned to have their adult, disabled daughter live with them.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to persons with disabilities and from refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices.

“No family whose members have disabilities should be denied the reasonable accommodations they need to make a home for themselves,” says Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Hopefully, today’s ruling will remind homeowner associations of their obligations under the Fair Housing Act and encourage them to follow the law.”

Under the terms of the Consent Order, entered by a HUD administrative law judge, Tamaron Association will pay a civil penalty of $9,000 to the United States, undergo fair housing training, and make changes to the associations’ bylaws as they relate to reasonable accommodations.

The wife, now a widow, is pursuing claims against Tamaron Association in New Jersey State Court. Tamaron Association denies that it discriminated against the family.

“HUD is committed to ensuring that housing providers, including homeowner associations, do not discriminate against individuals with disabilities,” said Paul Compton, HUD’s General Counsel. “This Consent Decree is a reminder to housing providers that making reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities is an essential part of their legal obligation under the Fair Housing Act.”