United States Intervenes in False Claims Act Lawsuit Against the City of Los Angeles and CRA/LA for Knowingly Failing to Provide Accessible Housing

Date Published: 
June 7, 2017
News Type: 
Press Releases
Program Area(s): 
Community Development Block Grant

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) alleging that they falsely certified compliance with federal accessibility laws in connection with claims submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for housing grants, the Department of Justice announced today. The accessibility laws allegedly violated include Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the duty to affirmatively further fair housing, which are meant to ensure that people with disabilities have fair and equal access to public housing.

The lawsuit alleges that the City applied for and received from HUD millions of dollars in federal housing funds, a portion of which it provided to the CRA/LA, to develop affordable housing that was accessible for people with disabilities. As recipients of HUD funds, the City and the CRA/LA must comply with the accessibility laws allegedly violated. Among other things, these laws require that five percent of all units in certain federally-assisted multifamily housing be accessible for people with mobility impairments, and an additional two percent be accessible for people with visual and auditory impairments. They also require that the City and the CRA/LA maintain a publicly available list of accessible units and their accessibility features. Likewise, they require that the City and the CRA/LA have a monitoring program in place to ensure people with disabilities are not excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise subjected to discrimination in, federally-assisted housing programs and activities solely on the basis of a disability...