HUD settles with community redevelopment agency

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Friday, October 10, 2014

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News from California

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a settlement September 26 with the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles to settle a range of housing violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The HUD first inspected the properties in question in 2011, when it uncovered an array of alleged Americans with Disabilities Act violations.

The inspector found that many of the properties contained bathrooms with insufficient maneuvering space for wheelchair users and inaccessible sinks and counters. In addition, inspectors found inaccessible routes and parking spaces and lack of policies for ensuring that people with disabilities had been informed of their rights.

Under the Voluntary Compliance Agreement, the CRA must spend an estimated $2.8 million to retrofit 140 units, spread over 22 housing developments. It must also hire a coordinator to oversee the agreement’s implementation and pay $500,000 to cover the cost for a HUD-approved consultant to review the modifications.

“Today’s agreement reaffirms HUD’s commitment to ensuring that housing funded by the federal government meets the needs of persons with disabilities,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, in a news release. “We commend LA’s Community Redevelopment Agency for working cooperatively with HUD to resolve this matter and for agreeing to retrofit the units.”

The agreement will remain in effect for five years, or until the terms are met, whichever comes first.