The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office will hold a workshop in its fair housing series, “Disability Issues in Rental Housing,” Thursday, December 6th, at the Santa Monica Main Library.
Jointly sponsored with the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA), the workshop is the second in the series.
In April, the City Attorney’s Office announced a comprehensive campaign to improve community awareness of the fair housing laws and to eliminate housing discrimination in the city.
Along with a full-page color fair housing advertisement, posters and new enforcement efforts, the City Attorney’s Office also teamed up for the first time with the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles to provide Santa Monica with a workshop on state and federal fair housing laws that prohibit housing discrimination.
The free workshop “sold out,” as all seats were reserved two weeks before the event.
The workshop’s 75 participants — including landlords, property managers, tenants, advocates, social service providers, and attorneys — received perspectives from a panel of speakers and from one another on fair housing issues, according to the City Attorney’s Office.
One issue emerged as the most compelling — reasonable accommodations and modifications for tenants with disabilities, according to the City Attorney’s Office, with questions such as what is an accommodation, what is the difference between an accommodation and a modification, when are they required, what is reasonable, and if there are costs, who pays.
Based on the success of the April workshop and to cover these disability-related topics in more detail, the City Attorney’s Office and Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles have designed an all-new agenda.
The workshop presenters will explain federal and state fair housing laws, in particular those laws regarding tenants and applicants with disabilities.
Topics will include accessibility, reasonable accommodations, reasonable modifications, community resources for landlords and tenants who are dealing with accommodation needs and alternatives to litigation such as mediation and the administrative complaint process.
The presenters include Beth Rosen Prinz, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing; Jim Andrews, Westside Center for Independent Living; Debby Maddis, OPCC; Adam Radinsky, deputy city attorney; Gary Rhoades, deputy city attorney; and Craig Mordoh, local attorney.
“Most reasonable accommodation and modification issues are worked out between landlords and tenants without resorting to lawyers and lawsuits,” said Gary Rhoades, a deputy city attorney in the Consumer Protection Unit. “The goal of the Disability Issues in Rental Housing workshop will be to provide Santa Monicans with more information on these disability topics so that even more disputes can be resolved before resorting to the courts.”
All landlords, property managers, advocates, attorneys, social service providers, and interested tenants are invited to attend free of charge.
Space is limited and early registration is recommended, at www.smconsumer.org or (310) 458-8345.