FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2024
For more information contact:
Elisabeth Risch, Executive Director
513-977-2620 or Elisabeth.Risch@homecincy.org
February 13, 2024 – Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Greater Cincinnati (HOME) and its clients announce a settlement agreement with SNS Management to resolve claims of disability discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. SNS Management is a large property owner and management company of 15 different properties and over 1,500 apartment units throughout the greater Cincinnati region. HOME began investigating reports of disability discrimination at multiple SNS Management properties after multiple clients contacted HOME beginning in November 2021.
The Fair Housing Act protects persons from discrimination in housing on the basis of disability, among other protected classes. Under the Fair Housing Act, people with disabilities have the right to a Reasonable Accommodation, which is a change to the policies or procedures in order for a person with a disability to fully live and enjoy their home.
The settlement agreement requires SNS Management to grant reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. SNS will adopt a Reasonable Accommodation policy and submit it to all residents and prospective residents. Specifically, SNS will allow more time for people with disabilities to move out of apartments, recognizing the difficulty in obtaining housing for people with complex needs. SNS will also change rent payment dates for residents that receive Social Security or Social Security Disability Income checks without charging fees or late fees. SNS also agreed to send all employees, agents, and contractors to fair housing training provided by HOME.
SNS will pay HOME and clients a total of $25,700 to compensate them for staff time and other resources expended to investigate alleged disability discrimination and for attorney fees.
“Reasonable accommodations allow people with disabilities to live without barriers. Changes to things like payment dates because of social security disability income and extending move out dates are necessary to ensure that people with disabilities can find and obtain housing,” said Elisabeth Risch, HOME of Greater Cincinnati’s Executive Director, “We are pleased to reach an agreement with SNS that benefits HOME and our clients. The policy changes that SNS agreed to, including the fair housing training, are important changes that will help SNS comply with the law and give people with disabilities equal opportunity at their properties.”
HOME and clients reached this settlement agreement with SNS voluntarily before any filing of court action. HOME and clients are represented by attorneys Jacob Davis from Nalls Davis Attorneys at Law and John Schrider from Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio.
HOME Cincinnati is a nonprofit fair housing organization with a mission to eliminate unlawful discrimination in housing in the Greater Cincinnati area. HOME advocates and enforces housing regulations for all protected classes and promotes stable, integrated communities. Learn more at www.homecincy.org
The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.