Litigation: Female Veteran’s Fair Housing Case (2016)

The California Women’s Law Center and co-counsel represented a female veteran who brought several claims against the owners and managers of a facility developed to provide housing for disabled homeless veterans. Based on the sexual assault and harassment that she alleged occurred at the facility, the plaintiff brought two Fair Housing Act claims for a hostile living environment as well as failure to reasonably accommodate her disability of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from military sexual trauma (MST). In January 2016, the court issued an order holding that providing gender-proximate housing for women veterans suffering from PTSD resulting from MST is allowable as a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act, absent additional evidence of stereotyping.

After the court's ruling, CWLC developed training materials and a policy brief to help attorneys and advocates better understand the rights of female veterans. The case also led to CWLC's work with a California state senator to introduce a bill to ensure that new state funding for veteran housing includes accommodations for underserved female veterans. We continue to advocate for women military service members to receive their benefits.

 


Resources
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Training: Fair Housing Act Claims for Failure to Reasonably Accommodate (2017)Access 
Policy Brief: Women Veterans Must Have Equal Access to Veteran-Only Permanent Housing Facilities Under the Fair Housing Laws (2017)Access 
Complaint for Declaratory Relief, Injunctive Relief and Damages - US District Court Central District of CAAccess 
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