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Bridgeport Housing Authority To Pay $10K To Disabled Woman To Settle Suit

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gavel Photo Credit: Contributed

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — The Bridgeport Housing Authority was ordered to pay $10,000 to a woman with disabilities after it refused to move her to a different apartment after a murder occurred in front of her unit, prosecutors said Thursday.

This settles a lawsuit that alleged that the Housing Authority for the City of Bridgeport (HACB) violated the Fair Housing Act by refusing to provide reasonable accommodations for the woman due to her disability.

In July 2014, the victim submitted a reasonable accommodation request to HACB for a transfer out of her apartment because she experienced anxiety and depression after a homicide occurred in front of her home, said U.S. Attorney John H. Durham.

In May 2016, a physician diagnosed her with post traumatic stress disorder. But HACB denied the request after concluding that the request was “not reasonable.”

In January 2017, after the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed the lawsuit, the victim was moved to another HACB property and HACB paid all of the victim’s moving expenses.

Under this settlement, HACB will pay $10,000 to the victim. The settlement also requires HACB employees to undergo fair housing training, and HACB to provide periodic reports to the Justice Department.

“As this lawsuit demonstrates, we will vigorously pursue violations of the Fair Housing Act in Connecticut,” said U.S. Attorney John H. Durham.

“Individuals with disabilities shouldn’t be denied the accommodations that allow them to fully enjoy their homes,” said Anna Maria Farias, assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Today’s settlement sends a clear message that HUD and the Department of Justice are fully committed to ensuring that housing providers, especially housing authorities, meet their obligation to comply with federal fair housing laws.”

In a related matter, on Nov. 15, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against HACB alleging violations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Fair Housing Act. The lawsuit is pending.

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. For more information, visit www.justice.gov/crt .

Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against by the HACB can contact the Civil Rights Division at 1-800-896-7743, mailbox number 992, or by email at fairhousing@usdoj.gov.

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