Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced a housing discrimination settlement stemming from allegations against Prometheus Real Estate Group, the owner and operator of a 342-unit housing complex in Lake Oswego.
Robin Buckley, a resident at the One Jefferson property in Lake Oswego, filed the civil rights complaint with the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) in 2012 alleging disability discrimination after the housing provider failed to provide a reasonable disability accommodation. In late October 2011, James Calogridis, Buckley’s husband, had requested a disabled parking spot closer to the couple’s unit because of a disabling condition that substantially limited his ability to walk.
On January 29, 2012, Mr. Calogridis fell in the housing complex parking lot, sustaining significant injuries. Mr. Calogridis died several days later on Feb. 8, 2012.
“Oregonians with disabilities deserve equal access to housing, including reasonable accommodations,” said Labor Commissioner Avakian. “Our agency is committed to conducting thorough investigations and working closely with agency partners so that the civil rights of Oregonians are protected.”
State and federal laws prohibit housing discrimination based on disability, and require landlords to make reasonable accommodations. After a thorough investigation, BOLI found substantial evidence of unlawful discrimination, including failure of Prometheus to make a reasonable accommodation for a tenant with disabilities.
“Equal access to housing, especially for our most vulnerable citizens, is a basic component of equality in Oregon,” Attorney General Rosenblum said.
The Oregon Department of Justice represented BOLI after the case moved to civil court.
Under the agreement, Prometheus will pay a total of $475,000 divided between Robin Buckley, 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
Copies of the original BOLI complaint, substantial evidence determination, and settlement agreement are available upon request.