The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced that it is charging Spring Creek Homeowners Association, the governing body of approximately 131 residential housing units in Jackson, with discriminating against two homeowners because of disability by imposing restrictions on their assistance animals, and for retaliating against them for filing a Fair Housing Act complaint.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination because of disability including refusal to allow reasonable accommodations that would otherwise permit homeowners with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their housing.
That includes a waiver of rules restricting pets. The Act also prohibits retaliating against individuals because they have filed a fair housing complaint with HUD.
HUD’s allegations say that Spring Creek Homeowners Association employed rules limiting the rights of residents with assistance animals, including requiring documentation typically provided to certain airlines, and permitting assistance dogs to be walked only outside the Spring Creek property and to relieve themselves on property only in the early morning or late evening.
After the homeowners challenged these policies and filed a complaint with HUD, it is alleged that the homeowners association sent a letter to all residents in the community admonishing the homeowners against attempting to circumvent the HOA’s arbitration provisions and publicly questioning the homeowners’ need for their assistance dogs.