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PREDETERMINATION SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
PARTIES TO THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT:
TIMBERLAND PARTNERS XXVll
8000 Norman Center Drive Suite 830
Minneapolis, MN 55437
Timberland Meredith Apartments
Urbandale, IA 50322
2111 East Virginia Avenue #120
Des Moines, Iowa 50320
IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
400 East 14th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Description of the Parties:
Complainant Larry Reynolds alleged Respondents failed to provide a reasonable accommodation by refusing to provide an additional parking space designated for persons with disabilities, resulting in different terms and conditions of rental based on disability. Respondents own or manage the subject property, a 132-unit apartment community, located at 7800 Iltis Drive Apartment G-64, Urbandale, Iowa 50322.
Respondents deny having discriminated against Complainant and assert they timely and properly complied with the request, but have agreed to settle any and all claims raised in this complaint by entering into this Predetermination Settlement Agreement.
A complaint having been filed by Complainant against Respondents with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission (hereafter referred to as 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 Complainants or any other person for filing a charge under the “Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965” (ICRA); or because of giving testimony or assistance, or participating in any manner in any investigation, proceeding or hearing under the ICRA; or because of lawful opposition to any practice forbidden by the ICRA. Iowa Code § 216.11(2).
2. Respondents acknowledge the ICRA makes 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. Iowa Code § 216.8(1)(b).
Respondents acknowledge the Fair Housing Act (FHA) makes it unlawful to discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin. 42 U.S.C. 3604(b) (§ 804(b) of the FHA).
3. Respondents acknowledge the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and ICRA 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 and to the extent that the accommodation does not cause undue financial or administrative burden or fundamentally alter the nature of the provider’s operations. 42 U.S.C. 3604(f)(3)(b) (§ 804(f)(3)(b) of the Fair Housing Act); Iowa Code § 216.8A(3)(c)(2).
4. Respondents acknowledge the FHA and ICRA 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) (§ 804(f)(2)(a) of the Fair Housing Act); Iowa Code § 216.8A(3)(b)(1).
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
5. Respondents acknowledge their commitment to ensure that all requests for reasonable accommodations are processed in a consistent, fair, and objective manner and enforced fairly and without harassment, discrimination or retaliation.
6. Respondents acknowledge their obligation under the FHA and ICRA to allow a reasonable accommodation when necessary to permit an individual with a disability equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.
After receiving a reasonable accommodation request, housing providers must consider the following:
(1) Does the person seeking a reasonable accommodation have a disability (a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities)?
(2) Does the person making the request have a disability-related need for the reasonable accommodation they have requested? (afford a person with disabilities an equal opportunity to use or enjoy the dwelling).
A request for accommodation can be denied if the accommodation would impose an undue financial and administrative burden or if it would fundamentally alter the essential nature of the housing provider's services. “The determination of undue financial and administrative burden must be made on a case-by-case basis involving various factors, such as the cost of the requested accommodation, the financial resources of the provider, the benefits that the accommodation would provide to the requester, and the availability of alternative accommodations that would effectively meet the requester's disability-related needs.” Joint Statement of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice, Reasonable Accommodations Under The Fair Housing Act, May 17, 2004, at 7.
Respondents acknowledge they will consider each tenant or prospective tenant’s situation and accommodation request individually to determine if the requested accommodation is reasonable. The parties acknowledge that if the disability is not known or obvious, Respondents may make a reasonable inquiry and request documentation from a health care provider that verifies the tenant/prospective tenant’s disability, without seeking or collecting information regarding the nature of the disability. In addition, Respondents may make reasonable inquiry and request documentation from a health care provider that verifies the tenant or prospective tenant’s need for the accommodation, i.e., the relationship between the person’s disability and the need for the requested accommodation.
Voluntary and Full Settlement
7. The parties acknowledge this Predetermination Settlement Agreement is a voluntary and full settlement. 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.
8. 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 Complainants that any claims asserted in her complaint are not fully meritorious.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. Because, pursuant to Iowa Code §216.15A(2)(d), the Commission has not determined that disclosure is not necessary to further the purposes of the ICRA relating to unfair or discriminatory practices in housing or real estate, this Agreement is a public record and subject to public disclosure in accordance with Iowa’s Public Records Law, Iowa Code Chapter 22. See Iowa Code §22.13.
12. Complainants hereby waive, release, and covenant 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, subject to performance by Respondents of the promises and representations contained herein. Complainants agree 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
13. Respondent Kelly Williamson is no longer employed by Respondents, and they are in the process of hiring a new property manager at Timberland Meredith Apartments. Respondents agree upon hiring a new property manager , the manager 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.
Respondents also agree to send documentation to the Commission, verifying the fair housing training has been completed, within ten (10) days of completing the training.
Relief for Complainants
14. Respondents agree to pay Complainant $2,300.00 without any deductions. Respondents agree the Settlement Check will be made out to Complainant and will be mailed or delivered to Complainant at the address listed on page one of this Agreement, within seven business days of Respondents’ receipt of the Commission’s Closing Letter. Complainant shall be fully liable for any taxes associated with the settlement amount.
Respondents also agree to send a copy of the Settlement Check to the Commission within seven (7) days of issuing the check to Complainant.
Reporting and Record-Keeping
15. Respondents shall forward to the Commission objective evidence of the successful completion of fair housing training in the form of a Certificate or a letter from the entity conducting the training within ten (10) days of the completion of the training, as evidence of compliance with Term 13 of this
16. Within seven (7) days of receiving a Closing Letter from the Commission,
agree to send a copy of the Settlement Check to the Commission, as evidence of compliance with Term 14 of this Agreement.
All required documentation of compliance must be submitted to:
Don Grove, Supervisor of Housing Investigations
Grimes State Office Building
400 East 14th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Signature on the following page (Page 6)
Timberland Partners XXVII, Respondent Date
Kelly Williamson, Respondent Date
Larry Reynolds, COMPLAINANT Date
Kristin H. Johnson, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Date
IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION