Apartment Manager Settles Fair Housing Complaint
HKT Cal, a local property management firm, has agreed to a $22,600 settlement for allegedly discriminating against disabled people with service dogs. The company was accused of denying people with service dogs the ability to rent, requiring them to comply with different terms and conditions than other tenants, and not providing reasonable accommodations to assist with their disability, according to a HUD statement. HKT Cal attorney Stephen Modafferi said his client did not violate any HUD policies, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
HUD assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Gustavo Velasquez (pictured) remarked in an official HUD statement that “use of an assistance or service animal shouldn’t keep a person from qualifying for housing that meets their needs.”
The complaint accused HKT CAL of violating parts of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and involved issues at several apartment complexes HKT Cal manages in San Diego and Spring Valley, but did not name which properties.
Settlement funds will go to the S.F.-based Housing Equality Law Project (HELP), which handles fair housing cases. HELP brought the housing discrimination complaint against HKT CAL to HUD attention following an investigation. The firm also agreed to provide employees training in fair housing regulations. According to the terms of the settlement, HKT CAL's agreement to pay the fine is not an admission of guilt. [SDUT]