Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California Negotiates Settlement of Disability Discrimination Complaint on Behalf of Client
October 27, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Caroline Peattie, Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California
(415) 483-7552, email@example.com
Announcing: Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California Negotiates Settlement of Disability
Discrimination Complaint on Behalf of Client
San Rafael, CA – On October 4, 2021, a settlement agreement was executed in a disability discrimination
complaint brought by Lucia Gillis, who was represented by Fair Housing Advocates of Northern
California (FHANC), against the Suisun City Housing Authority. The complaint, filed in April 2021 with the
Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and mediated through DFEH’s Dispute Resolution
Division, alleged that the respondents discriminated against Ms. Gillis’ minor and disabled son in violation of
federal, state, and local fair housing laws.
Ms. Gillis is a single mother of two minor sons. One of her children lives with intellectual and mental health
disabilities and requires a full-time caregiver to manage symptoms. Her family had previously been granted a
voucher that accommodated her family’s needs. The discriminatory conduct occurred when her family moved
to the City of Suisun, where the Suisun City Housing Authority (the Housing Authority) refused to issue a new
voucher that would accommodate Ms. Gillis’ disabled son or his live-in attendant.
The complaint alleged that the Housing Authority discriminated against Ms. Gillis’ disabled son, by interfering
with his fair housing rights and for failing to accommodate his disability. The Housing Authority stated that
existing policies prevented Ms. Gillis’ family from receiving the accommodation, despite her having provided
medical documentation of their disability-related housing needs.
Mediations resulted in a settlement agreement in which the Housing Authority paid Ms. Gillis $75,000.
Additionally, the Housing Authority will modify policies and practices to come into compliance with the FairHousing Act, including:
The agreement was unanimously approved by the Suisun City Council on September 21, 2021.
“It was extremely unfortunate that Ms. Gillis lost her voucher because the Suisun Housing Authority did not
grant her reasonable accommodation request,” said Caroline Peattie, Executive Director of FHANC.
“Nevertheless, we are encouraged by the settlement and the willingness of the Suisun City Council to enter into
a settlement agreement to do right by Ms. Gillis. We think the fair housing training that staff will undergo will
help the housing authority better understand their obligation when a person with a disability requests a
Ms. Gillis was represented by FHANC Staff Attorney Ursula Lindsey. “I was upset after experiencing
discrimination," said Ms. Gillis. "When the Housing Authority ignored my family's accommodation requests, I
was afraid we would be homeless. I turned to prayer, which gave me strength. FHANC helped me fight for my
rights. I'm so thankful that Ursula Lindsey was there to advise me and advocate for our family.”
If you feel you may have been discriminated against, contact FHANC’s office to complete an interview.
Contact FHANC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-457-5025 x101.
Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California (FHANC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to
ensure equal housing opportunity and to educate our communities on the value of diversity in our
neighborhoods. FHANC serves several Bay Area counties and provides free counseling, enforcement,
mediation, and legal or administrative referrals to persons experiencing housing discrimination. Fair Housing
Advocates of Northern California also offers foreclosure prevention counseling, pre-purchase education,
seminars to help housing providers fully understand fair housing law, and education programs for tenants and
the community at large. Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California is a HUD-Certified Housing
Counseling Agency. Please call Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California at (415) 457-5025 or TDD:
(800) 735-2922 for more information. Note: This material is based on work supported by the Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under FHIP PEI Grant FPEI190035. Any opinion, findings, and
conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily
reflect the views of HUD.