FHF Settles Disability Discrimination Case involving a denial of an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

Media Contact:
Melanie Silberberg
1-800-446-3247 ext. 1111
[email protected]

Long Beach – December 16, 2021 The Fair Housing Foundation (FHF) and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) settled a housing discrimination case against an owner, located in Long Beach, CA. FHF engaged in a voluntary mediation in DFEH’s Dispute Resolution Division. A resident manager of the owner discriminated against the prospective tenant because of his disability.

The complainant, a prospective tenant looking for an apartment in the city of Long Beach, filed a complaint with FHF on July 22, 2020, alleging that he suffered illegal discrimination because he has an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). The prospective tenant is a disabled Veteran. The prospective tenant initially inquired about an apartment available at the complaint address. When the prospective tenant met with the onsite manager to inquire about the available vacancy, he disclosed that the apartment was for him and his ESA. The onsite manager told prospective tenant that they could not rent to him because he had a dog despite him clarifying to the manager that the dog was an emotional support animal.

In the settlement, the respondent will pay $5,000 ($1,500 to FHF and $3,500 to the prospective tenant). In addition to a monetary settlement, the resident manager will undergo to a fair housing training that will focus on disability accommodations and the interactive process. The training will be conducted by the Fair Housing Foundation. The respondent will also revise their current policies, regarding reasonable accommodations and display fair housing posters at their property. “This case serves as an example that discrimination towards people with disabilities still occurs today,” says Case Analyst Sindy Guzman, “at the Fair Housing Foundation, we are committed to helping people with disabilities during discrimination cases such as this one.”

If you believe you may have experienced discriminated based on disability or any other protected class under federal or California law, please contact the Fair Housing Foundation to complete an interview. Contact FHF at 1-800-446-3247 (TTY: 1-800 855-7100) or [email protected].


The Fair Housing Foundation (FHF) is a non-profit organization formed in 1964 and is dedicated to eliminating discrimination in housing and promoting equal access to housing choices for everyone. FHF offers a comprehensive Fair Housing Program that includes discrimination complaint intake, testing and investigation; outreach and educational activities; and landlord and tenant rental counseling.

FHF has been continuously providing services to municipalities for 58 years. We assist approximately 6,000 clients annually. The purpose of the FHF Fair Housing program is to educate tenants, landlords, owners, Realtors, and property management companies on fair housing laws and to secure grassroots involvement within the community. Our motto is “Education over Litigation.” The Fair Housing Foundation is a HUD-Certified Housing Counseling Agency and also offers Rental Counseling.

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