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Cases and Related Pleadings

Fortune Society v. Sandcastle

In Fortune Society v. Sandcastle, a not-for profit organization In New York City that works to reintegrate formerly incarcerated individuals into the community sued a housing provider for fair housing violations based on a policy that denies people with a criminal record access to housing. Fortune Society alleged that Sandcastle engaged in a pattern or practice of illegal discrimination on the basis of race and color due to the blanket ban on individuals with any criminal history.

Fortune Society Complaint
Statement of Interest from the U.S. Department of Justice

Alexander v. Edgewood Management Corp.

The plaintiff in Alexander v. Edgewood Management Corp. alleged that the defendant’s tenant selection policies were discriminatory based on race because they denied him housing based on a seven-year-old, non-violent, non-drug-related offense. The defendant manages a number of federally subsidized housing projects.

You can find a link to the Alexander complaint on the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs website here

Alexander Motion to Dismiss

Landers v. Chicago Housing Authority

The Chicago Housing Authority denied a public housing applicant on the basis of arrests that did not result in convictions.

Landers Brief of Plaintiff
Landers Amicus Brief

Stoick v. McCorvey

The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority relied on unpublished screening guidelines to exclude the plaintiff from public housing on the basis of his criminal record, denied his reasonable accommodation request, and did not provide an adequate informal hearing.
Stoick Complaint
Stoick Exhibits

Evans v. UDR, Inc., 644 F.Supp.2d 675 (E.D.N.C. 2009)

After the plaintiff’s housing application was denied due to criminal history, plaintiff requested a reasonable accommodation because the criminal conduct, a misdemeanor conviction for criminal assault, was a result of his mental health disability. The court found that criminal conduct caused by a mental health disability was not an “effect” of disability with which Congress was concerned in the Fair Housing Act.

Boston Hous. Auth. v. Bridgewaters, 452 Mass. 833, 898 N.E.2d 848 (Mass.2009)

The court held that before evicting a public housing tenant, the PHA must consider whether a causal link existed between tenant’s psychiatric disability and assault on another tenant, for purposes of determining whether the reasonable accommodation requested was related to the tenant's disability.

Super v. J. D'Amelia & Associates, LLC, 2010 WL 3926887 (D. Conn. Sept. 30, 2010)

The court found that a reversal of a decision to terminate a Voucher due to first degree assault may be required as a reasonable accommodation if continued rental assistance will allow the tenant to use and enjoy a dwelling without posing a threat to neighbors.

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