LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced June 7 that the United States has intervened in a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles and the CRA/LA (formerly the Community Redevelopment Agency of the city of Los Angeles) in a case involving federal accessibility laws.
“Recipients of federal housing funds must honor their commitments to accommodate people with disabilities,” said acting assistant attorney general Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Denying people with disabilities equal access to public housing deprives one of the most disadvantaged groups in society of fair housing opportunities.”
According to allegations, Los Angles submitted claims to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in which it falsely certified compliance with federal accessibility laws. The laws in question are Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the duty to affirmatively further fair housing.
“This case alleges that the city of Los Angeles repeatedly violated the law by falsely certifying that millions of federal dollars were being used to build housing that included units accessible to people with disabilities,” said acting U.S. attorney Sandra R. Brown for the Central District of California. “While people with disabilities struggled to find accessible housing, the city and its agents denied them equal access to housing while falsely certifying the availability of such housing to keep the dollars flowing.”