City to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to produce thousands of accessible units city-wide
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced a landmark agreement with the City of Los Angeles to provide accessibility improvements for individuals with disabilities throughout the City’s affordable housing program. The agreement announced today resolves longstanding HUD findings of noncompliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This settlement paves the way for HUD to continue funding the City under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships programs.
The ground-breaking settlement anticipates the development of 10,000 units of new affordable housing over the next ten years, including 1,500 accessible units for individuals with disabilities, a share that exceeds current state and federal requirements. The City further commits to providing 3,100 accessible housing units for individuals with disabilities by retrofitting hundreds of existing affordable housing developments across the City that were not constructed or rehabilitated to meet federal accessibility standards. Read the agreement.
In addition, the City and HUD will work together on an innovative “Enhanced Accessibility Program” that will incorporate cutting-edge accessibility features into future affordable housing developments. The features provided through this program will include many accessibility enhancements that are not yet contemplated in the minimum standards established by state and federal law.
“As a result of this settlement, thousands of individuals with disabilities, including those experiencing homelessness in the City of Los Angeles, will have equal access to affordable housing and access to cutting-edge features that will enable them to live independently,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “I’m pleased we can now turn a page and begin the real work of providing affordable housing to the people who need it most and have gone without it for too long.”
HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Anna Maria Farias, explained “The scope and scale of this agreement is unprecedented, and we are unaware of an accessibility commitment of this magnitude. I’m happy that the City will finally deliver accessible housing to Angelinos with disabilities and will be working with HUD to fulfill the promises of this in the years to come.”
HUD’s General Counsel Paul Compton Jr. noted “HUD grantees should pay attention to this agreement. HUD expects its grantees to comply with the requirements of fair housing and civil rights laws. We will use the legal tools at our disposal to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities to live in affordable, accessible housing.”
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all programs, services, and activities of local governments.
Persons who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (Voice). Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the Department using the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing, or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.