On 11.4.202 a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) signed a consent order which settled a dispute over allegations of discrimination against a disabled person residing in an independent apartment of the above community and who died during the pandemic.

The suit had been filed by Mr. Gural, the son of a disabled woman who had a cognitive impairment that substantially limited her ability to care for herself on a day to day basis. Since during the pandemic the CCRC had prohibited his mother’s aide to enter its premises (thus making it impossible for her to receive the needed assistance with activities of daily living), Mr. Gural had notified the CCRC that he would be moving in the apartment with his mother to help her out. However, the CCRC threatened to evict Mrs. Gural if Mr Gural did not leave the apartment. In its complaint, Mr Gural asserted that the CCRC discriminated against him and his mother by not providing the latter the reasonable accommodation that Mr Gural be allowed to stay in his mother apartment as a live-in aide during the pandemic to assist her with activities of daily living in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Under the terms of the settlement, the CCRC agreed to include a number of provisions in its Resident Agreements, including that it “shall not deny a person with a disability a reasonable accommodation when such accommodation may be necessary to afford such a person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling”. It also agreed to revise its policies over reasonable accommodations, to provide training to its staff on the new revised policies adopted pursuant the consent order and to post an “Equal Housing Opportunity” poster in its marketing offices indicating that all units or apartments are available for occupancy or rent on a non-discriminatory basis. Furthermore, the CCRC has undertaken to designate a “Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator” who is in charge of receiving complaints of alleged housing discrimination and of coordinating compliance with the consent order. In addition, the CCRC agreed to pay Mr Gural the sum of 215.000 dollars for damages, costs and fees.

Reference: United States of America v. Albright care services and Asbury Communities, INC.d/b/a Asbury Riverwoods, United States District Court for the middle district of Pennsylvania, Consent order of 11.4.2023

Full text of the Order available at www.justice.gov en