FY2013Confidential_12

01/09/2015
Document Text Content: 

PREDETERMINATION SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

 

CP# 03-13-63930

HUD# 07-13-0377-8

 

PARTIES TO THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT:

 

RESPONDENTS

 

REDACTED

REDACTED

REDACTED

 

REDACTED

REDACTED

REDACTED

 

COMPLAINANT

 

MARY CHAPMAN

Commissioner

Iowa Civil Rights Commission

400 East 14th Street

Des Moines, Iowa 50319

 

AND

 

IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION

400 East 14th Street

Des Moines, Iowa 50319

 

 

Description of the Parties:  Complainant is a member of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission).  As a member, Complainant has the authority to file a complaint alleging a discriminatory practice in violation of the “Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965,” Iowa Code Chapter 216.    Complainant alleged Respondents failed to provide a reasonable accommodation by refusing to waive their

“no-pets” policy for an assistance animal and this resulted in different terms and conditions of rental and a denial of rental housing based on disability.  Respondent REDACTED owns and manages the subject property, a REDACTED -unit apartment complex, located at REDACTED.  

 

A complaint having been filed by Complainant against Respondents with the Commission under Iowa Code Chapter 216 and there having been a preliminary inquiry, the parties do hereby agree and settle the above-captioned matter in the following extent and manner:

 Acknowledgment of Fair Housing Laws

 

1.            Respondents agree there shall be no discrimination, harassment, or retaliation of any kind against Complainant or any other person for filing a charge under Iowa Code Chapter 216; or because of giving testimony or assistance, or participating in any manner in any investigation, proceeding or hearing under Iowa Code Chapter 216; or because of lawful opposition to any practice forbidden under Iowa Code Chapter 216.

 

2.            The parties acknowledge Federal and State Fair Housing laws make it unlawful to discriminate in the terms, conditions or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with the dwelling because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, or familial status, in violation of Iowa Code Chapter 216.

 

3.            The parties acknowledge Federal and State Fair Housing Laws make it unlawful

to discriminate in the sale or rental or otherwise make unavailable or deny a dwelling to a buyer or renter because of a disability. 

42 U.S.C. 3604(f)(1)(a); Iowa Code § 216.8A(3)(a)(1).

 

4.            The parties acknowledge Federal and State Fair Housing Laws make it unlawful

to refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when the accommodations are necessary to afford the person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, including accommodating a service animal. 42 U.S.C. 3604(f)(3)(b); Iowa Code § 216.8A(3)(c)(2).

 

5.            The parties acknowledge Federal and State Fair Housing Laws make it unlawful

to discriminate against another person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with the dwelling because of a disability.

42 U.S.C. 3604(f)(2)(a) and Iowa Code § 216.8A(3)(b)(1)

 

Voluntary and Full Settlement

 

6.            The parties acknowledge this Predetermination Settlement Agreement is a voluntary and full settlement of the disputed complaint.  The parties affirm they have read and fully understand the terms set forth herein.  No party has been coerced, intimidated, threatened or in any way forced to become a party to this Agreement.

 

7.            The parties enter into this Agreement in a good faith effort to amicably resolve existing disputes.  The execution of this Agreement is not an admission of any wrongdoing or violation of law.  Nor is the execution of this Agreement an admission by Complainant that any claims asserted in her complaint are not fully meritorious.

 

8.            The parties agree the execution of this Agreement may be accomplished by separate counterpart executions of this Agreement.  The parties agree the original executed signature pages will be attached to the body of this Agreement to constitute one document.

 

9.            Respondents agree the Commission may review compliance with this Agreement.  And as part of such review, Respondents agree the Commission may examine witnesses, collect documents, or require written reports, all of which will be conducted in a reasonable manner by the Commission.  

 

Disclosure

 

10.          The parties agree the Commission may disclose the terms of this Agreement so long as the Commission does not disclose the identities of Respondents.

 

Release

 

11.          Complainant hereby waives, releases, and covenants not to sue Respondents with respect to any matters which were, or might have been alleged as charges filed with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development, or any other anti-discrimination agency, and with regard to any and all other matters, subject to performance by Respondents of the promises and representations contained herein. Complainant agrees any complaint filed with any other anti-discrimination agency, including the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development, which involves the issues in this complaint, shall be closed as Satisfactorily Adjusted.

 

Fair Housing Training

 

12.          Respondents agree REDACTED and each of his employees or agents who are involved in the management or operation of his residential rental properties will receive training on the requirements of State and Federal Fair Housing Laws within 90 days of their receipt of a Closing Letter from the Commission.  The training will address all aspects of fair housing law, but will emphasize the law regarding how to handle requests for reasonable accommodations from individuals with a disability.  The training shall be conducted by a qualified person, approved by the Commission or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The Commission has pre-approved Respondents’ attorney, REDACTED’s Fair Housing Training course outline.  

 

Respondents also agree to send documentation to the Commission, verifying the fair housing training has been completed, to the attention of Don Grove, Supervisor of Investigations, within ten (10) days of completing the training.

 

 

New Policy and Practice

 

     13.     For all residential rental properties owned and managed, now and in the future, Respondents agree, within thirty (30) days of the execution of this Settlement Agreement, to adopt and implement specific, uniform, and objective written standards and procedures for receiving and handling requests made by people with disabilities for reasonable accommodation.  These standards shall comply with the requirements of Iowa Code Chapter 216 and 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq., and include the following provisions:

 

Respondents shall inform all applicants and occupants that they may request reasonable accommodations of Respondents’ rules, policies, practices, and services.  Prior to lease execution, if prospective residents inquire about reasonable accommodations, Respondents shall inform them of their ability to seek reasonable accommodations, including the process to request and obtain such accommodations. 

 

Within 90 days of their receipt of a Closing Letter from the Commission,

Respondents agree to submit copies of forms to be used when tenants and prospective tenants make oral or written Reasonable Accommodation requests.  The forms will be sent to the attention of Don Grove, Supervisor of Investigations, for his approval. 

 

Respondents shall keep written records of each reasonable accommodation request for one (1) year after the tenant either ceases renting from Respondents or an applicant is denied the request for an accommodation, whichever is later.  These records shall include:

             Name, address, and telephone number of the person making the request;

             Date request received;

             Nature of request;

             Whether request granted or denied; and

             If denied, reason(s) for the denial.

 

Upon adopting specific, uniform, and objective written standards and procedures for receiving and handling requests made by people with disabilities for reasonable accommodations, Respondents shall provide written notice of those standards and procedures to each current and future resident who has requested an accommodation.  

 

Review of Tenant Files

 

     14.     Respondents agree to review all current tenant files to determine whether Respondents and their employees or agents appropriately handled past requests for reasonable accommodations in accordance with the requirements of Iowa Code Chapter 216 and 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.  If errors were made in the handling of past requests for reasonable accommodations, Respondents shall promptly correct those errors by notifying the affected residents, granting the requests for reasonable accommodations, and refunding any monies unlawfully collected for pet fees or deposits. 

 

Within ninety (90) days of the execution of this Settlement Agreement, Respondents shall submit a written report to the Commission, to the attention of Don Grove, Supervisor of Investigations, stating: (1) the number of tenant files reviewed, (2) the name and job title of the person or persons who reviewed those files, (3) the date or dates those files were reviewed, (4) the number of errors found, and (5) the number of errors corrected.  For each error, Respondents shall include in its written report to the Commission the following information:

             Name, address, and telephone number of affected resident;

             Date of request for reasonable accommodation;

             Nature of request;

             Date affected resident notified of error; and

             Nature of action taken to correct error.

 

Relief for Complainant

 

     15.     Respondents agree to promote Fair Housing by notifying all their current tenants that 2013 is the 45th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, by printing a full-color flyer and distributing the flyer to each of their tenants on or before May 15, 2013.   The flyer will be a minimum size of 8.5” x 11” and Respondents agree to access the flyer online at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=nfha_hud_12_en_chalkflag.pdf

 

Prior to the printing the flyers, Respondents agree to add the following contact information for the Commission to the flyer directly below the contact information for HUD or at the bottom of the flyer: 

Or Contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission at 515-281-4121 or

Toll Free at 1-800-457-4416 or online at http://www.state.ia.us/government/crc/

 

Respondents also agree to send a copy of the flyer distributed to tenants to the Commission, verifying the fair housing flyers have been distributed with a list of the address for each property with the number of rental units at each property that received the flyer, to the attention of Don Grove, Supervisor of Investigations, within ten (10) days of distributing the flyer.

 

 

 

Signatures on the Following Page (page 6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

___________________________________________________        _____________

REDACTED, RESPONDENT                                                            Date

 

 

___________________________________________________        _____________

REDACTED, RESPONDENT                                                                             Date

 

 

_________                                        __________                          ______           ______________

Mary Chapman, COMPLAINANT                                                                               Date

 

 

___________________________________________________        _____________

Beth Townsend, DIRECTOR                                                                                         Date

IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION