The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has reached a $1 million agreement with Condominium Association Isleta Marina in Puerto Real, Puerto Rico, settling allegations that the property's inoperative elevators violated the federal Fair Housing Act based on disability.
According to HUD, the agreement comes after a resident alleged that the condominium association refused to repair any of the four elevators in her building during March 2011. The resident further alleged that the inoperative elevators limited the activities of other residents and visitors with mobility disabilities, and alleged that she aggravated a mobility disability by having to climb four flights of stairs when leaving and returning to her home. Isleta Marina consists of 380 apartments in two high-rise towers, each with 11 floors.
‘For persons with physical disabilities who live in multi-level buildings, having access to working elevators is essential for them to live their lives fully and independently,’ says John Trasvina, HUD's assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity. ‘This settlement ensures they have access and that the condominium meets its fair housing responsibilities.’
Under the terms of the agreement, the condominium association will replace four of the eight elevators in its two towers. In addition, the association will issue a formal apology to the resident and have all staff undergo fair housing training.