HUD charges South Dakota property owners with discrimination against resident in wheelchair

August 03, 2015
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has charged the owners and landlords of an eight-unit apartment complex in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to allow a resident with disabilities to use a wheelchair in his apartment. HUD’s charge also alleges that the Salem Family Trust and Calvin L. Salem, trustee and manager of the property, refused to return the resident’s security deposit after he was forced to move out of his apartment. Read HUD’s charge.
     The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from making a rental unit unavailable because of disability, discriminating in the terms of a rental because of disability, making statements regarding a rental that indicate discrimination based on disability, or retaliating against anyone for exercising their fair housing rights.
     “Wheelchair users can never feel at home if they aren’t allowed to use the very thing they depend on for mobility,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD remains committed to enforcing the nation’s fair housing laws and creating greater housing opportunities for people with disabilities.”