Feds settle with Salt Lake City apartment owner over parking stall dispute with disabled resident

Federal housing authorities say they have reached a settlement over claims that managers of a Salt Lake City apartment complex refused a disabled resident's request for assigned parking.

Officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said Wednesday the owner and managers of Jefferson School Apartments II at 1011 S. West Temple had wrongly refused the woman’s request to be assigned a parking space close to her apartment — a violation of the U.S. Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

The settlement resolves a two-year dispute and a formal complaint filed by the woman with HUD.

The 84-unit Jefferson School Apartments and the complex’s managers, Housing Assistance Management Enterprise, a nonprofit, receive federal financial assistance, HUD said. According to settlement documents, the apartment complex includes both subsidized and market-rate dwellings, and was built with financing assistance from the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City, along with federal money from HUD.

"For 45 years, persons with disabilities who reside in HUD-financed housing have had the right to receive the accommodations they need to fully enjoy their homes, but in too many instances that right continues to be denied,” Anna María Farías, HUD’s assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement.

Under the deal, the tenant, whose name was redacted in the settlement, will be paid $18,000. She will also be allowed to move to a ground-floor unit in the complex, with paid moving expenses of up to $2,500, and she will be assigned a parking stall in front of her new dwelling.

Managers at the complex also will be required to provide training within 12 months for apartment staff and revise their written policies to better inform disabled residents of their rights to designated parking under federal law.

The owner and managers are also required to issue a letter of apology, according to the settlement.

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