FJI & Tripp Scott Settle Case for Spanish-speaking Couple Against Dania Beach Housing Authority

Carlos and Isabel Pomales are disabled, cannot work, and speak very little English.  They tried to apply for a Section 8 housing voucher in Dania beach, but no application was available in Spanish, and all the employees of the Dania Beach Housing Authority refused to speak to them in Spanish. Because of their limited English skills, they made mistakes on their application.  The DBHA denied their application on that basis, even though the information, had it been provided, would not have disqualified them from the Section 8 program.  FJI, along with the law firm Tripp Scott, P.A., filed a lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin.  Discovery revealed that the DBHA has no Language Access Plan to accommodate people with Limited English Proficiency, despite being required to do so under federal law.  The parties reached a settlement for $50,000 and are working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to ensure that the DBHA has a Language Access Plan so that the people of Dania Beach will have equal housing access no matter what language they speak.

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