Oregon officials settle housing discrimination case against Lake Oswego … – OregonLive.com
The California-based owner and operator of a Lake Oswego housing complex has agreed to pay $475,000 to settle allegations that it failed to provide a reasonable accommodation to a disabled former resident, state officials announced Wednesday.
Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said the housing discrimination settlement involving Prometheus Real Estate Group stems from a civil rights complaint filed in 2012 by Robin Buckley, a resident at the One Jefferson Apartments.
In October 2011, Buckley’s husband, James Calogridis, requested a disabled parking spot closer to the couple’s unit in the 342-unit complex because of a disabling condition that limited his ability to walk, according to the Bureau of Labor and Industries.
On Jan. 29, 2012, Calogridis fell in the parking lot of the housing complex and sustained significant injuries. He died several days later on Feb. 9, a day after the housing complex owners installed the requested signage.
State and federal laws prohibit housing discrimination based on disability, and require landlords to make reasonable accommodations. According to a news release, BOLI’s investigation found substantial evidence of unlawful discrimination, including Prometheus’ failure to make a reasonable accommodation for a tenant with disabilities.
“Oregonians with disabilities deserve equal access to housing, including reasonable accommodations,” Avakian said in a prepared statement. “Our agency is committed to conducting thorough investigations and working closely with agency partners so that the civil rights of Oregonians are protected.”
“Equal access to housing, especially for our most vulnerable citizens, is a basic component of equality in Oregon,” Rosenblum added. The Oregon Department of Justice represented BOLI after the case moved to civil court.
According to its website, Prometheus is the largest private owner of multifamily properties in the San Francisco Bay Area and manages a portfolio of more than 13,000 apartments in the San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles metro areas.
Under the agreement, the company will pay a total of $475,000 to Robin Buckley, and the Calogridis estate and for legal expenses.
The agreement stipulates that Prometheus must:
- Comply with the Oregon Fair Housing Act and the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA).
- Provide BOLI with a list of all Prometheus-owned or managed properties.
- Report any property ownership changes or acquisitions to BOLI for three years.
- Conduct annual FHA trainings for all Prometheus employees.
- Maintain a “reasonable accommodation” log that documents tenant accommodation requests for BOLI on a semi-annual basis.
- Provide BOLI with its policies and practices for reasonably accommodating tenant disabilities for the agency’s review.
- Notify all tenants of Prometheus properties in Oregon of their rights to reasonable accommodations.
Prometheus, headquartered in San Mateo, California, purchased One Jefferson Parkway in 2011 for $51.2 million. The complex, built in 1988, is located in the Mountain Park neighborhood.
— George Rede