Out, and Segregated
The Need for Fair Housing for People with Disabilities
. . . . . .
The SOPOS Coalition is a multi-disciplinary group of
experts who are committed to implementing the recommendations
of the SOPOS Report. They represent architects, developers,
builders, lenders, professors, attorneys, disability
advocates, government agencies, nonprofits, and others.
The Coalition includes people who were involved in writing
the report as well as others who want to help implement
it. The Coalition took its name from the title of the
SOPOS Report: "Shut Out, Priced Out and Segregated."
In 2008, the National Fair Housing Alliance, along with
four other plaintiffs--including Metro Fair Housing
Services, filed suit against A.G. Spanos Companies,
one of the largest construction companies in the United
States and a major developer of multi-family apartment
communities. The suit alleged that Spanos violated the
Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 by building apartments
that were inaccessible to people with disabilities.
The lawsuit was resolved with Spanos agreeing to pay
more than $12 million to retrofit 13,200 units in 41
developments throughout the country. To learn more about
the Spanos settlement, go to:
National Fair Housing Alliance (Click
Here To View Settlement Agreement)
While there were a number of affirmative steps outlined
in the stipulations, two of them impacted Metro Fair
Housing Services (MFHS) directly.
Local Retrofit Funds
Spanos agreed to contribute $750,000 to be used
by the five plaintiffs to establish local retrofit funds.
MFHS received a total of $100,000 over a two-year period
and has used those funds to retrofit housing
for families of eighteen people with disabilities in
To show how the funds have made a difference in the
lives of Georgians, MFHS produced a DVD titled, "Living
At Home." (Click
Here To View "Living At Home" Video)
Public Policy Report
Spanos also agreed to contribute an additional
$40,000 to produce a public policy report on the housing
needs of people with disabilities. Spanos gave MFHS
the lead role in developing the report, since the idea
for the report had been suggested by the MFHS Board
Chair. MFHS recruited a panel of more than 30 experts
in housing and disability advocacy, which met and worked
on the report for more than seven months. In September,
2011, the panel released the final report, "Shut
Out, Priced Out and Segregated: the Need for Fair Housing
for People with Disabilities" (or "SOPOS Report").
The report identified three elements necessary to ensure
that people with disabilities have access to appropriate
housing: accessibility, affordability, and integration.
The report also describes best practices and lists ten
recommendations for improving housing for people with
disabilities. While the report addresses the specific
housing needs of people with disabilities in Georgia,
the Coalition expects that much of the material will
be relevant and useful to other states as well.
The SOPOS Report is available in two formats:
Join us! Be a member of the SOPOS Coalition.
Support us! Contribute funding to support implementation
of the report.
Help us! Review the report and identify ways you can
help implement the recommendations.
Stay informed! Keep up with our efforts to implement
the report's recommendations.
Learn more! Read more about our progress to date.
|Together, we can
provide housing that is accessible, affordable and
integrated for everyone!
Contact us for more