Sacramento County is dedicated to protecting the rights of renters and landlords and promoting fair housing choice
. To further support that commitment, Sacramento County serves as the lead participant in the Renter’s Helpline
, a telephone and internet-based counseling and mediation service that contracts with a variety of organizations to address fair housing issues throughout the region.
Recently, the Renter’s Helpline with one of the contracted organizations, Project Sentinel, worked to connect a tenant who was experiencing disability discrimination at her current residence to successfully reach a final settlement, resolving her concerns.
The discrimination started in 2017, when the tenant, a disabled mother of two, resided in a privately owned complex took on an emotional support animal that was prescribed to help with her disability-related needs. After multiple attempts to provide the appropriate documentation from her physician, the on-site and corporate management refused to review the paperwork and issued the tenant a 60-Day Notice to Vacate. Hoping to resolve the issue, the tenant again called the corporate management office and subsequently received a 3-Day Notice to Perform or Quit, which cited very minor lease violations.
While working to find a new home for her family, the tenant filed a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) complaint and contacted the Renter’s Helpline to learn how to advocate for herself during the administrative complaint process. The Renter’s Helpline connected her with program counselors from Project Sentinel who reviewed her documents, determined there was evidence of discrimination and worked to conduct several witness interviews to further support the tenant’s discrimination claim.
After representing the tenant throughout the complaint process and negotiating on her behalf, Project Sentinel helped the tenant reach a final settlement in February 2018. The settlement required the housing providers to pay the tenant $9,000 and change their policies to comply with the Fair Housing Act. These policy changes included the addition of a three-hour fair housing training for on-site management, development of a written reasonable accommodation and reasonable modification policy, and implementation of updated house rules related to supervision rules for children. In addition, HUD will monitor the property’s compliance with the agreement for a 2-year period.
Discrimination in housing rental, sales and financing on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, natural origin, marital status, disability or familial status is prohibited by Federal (Fair Housing Act
) and State law (Fair Employment and Housing Act
If you believe you or someone you know has experienced housing discrimination while trying to rent an apartment or buy a home, call the Renter's Helpline, 916-389-7877, or visit the Renter's Helpline website