United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Robert Blakey United States District Judge.
Adana Finch, individually and as parent and next friend of
Ramon Finch, Jr. and Coya Shorter, sues the Housing Authority
of Cook County (HACC), alleging disability discrimination in
violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Count I)
and Section 3604(f) of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) (Count II).
. In a July 19, 2018 order, this Court granted
Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' First
Amended Complaint, , without prejudice. . Plaintiffs
have since filed a Second Amended Complaint (SAC), , and
Defendant has again moved to dismiss all claims, this time
with prejudice. . For the reasons explained below, this
Court grants in part, and denies in part, Defendant's
The Complaint's Allegations
Court incorporates by reference, and presumes familiarity
with, its prior opinion addressing Defendants' motion to
dismiss Plaintiffs First Amended Complaint, , and thus
only briefly revisits the alleged facts from which Plaintiffs
and her two children, Ramon and Shorter, previously resided
in a three-bedroom apartment through a Section 8 voucher from
Defendant.  ¶¶ 3-4. On May 18, 2017,
Plaintiffs' landlord informed Plaintiffs that she would
not renew their lease after it ended on August 31, 2017
because Defendant refused to approve an increase in the
contract rent amount.  at 9. Defendant advised Plaintiffs'
landlord that reduced federal funding levels, caused by
uncertainty in Congress, forced it to adopt cost saving
measures. Id. at 10-11. These cost saving measures
included: (1) generally denying rent voucher increases; and
(2) requiring that two family members share a bedroom,
regardless of the members' age, sex, or relationship.
allege that on or about May 19, 2017, they asked Defendant to
approve a three-bedroom apartment as a reasonable
accommodation based upon their disabilities.  ¶ 8.
Adana does not claim any disability, but Ramon has autism
spectrum disorder, asthma, and learning disabilities.
Id. ¶¶ 11, 35. Shorter suffers from
bipolar II disorder as well as learning disabilities, a panic
disorder, and claustrophobia. Id. ¶¶ 11,
37. Plaintiffs allege that Ramon and Shorter require separate
rooms because of these disabilities. Id.
denied Plaintiffs' reasonable accommodation request in
June 2017. Id. ¶ 9;  at 12-13. Due to this
denial, Plaintiffs' landlord refused to renew their lease
and asked them to leave.  ¶ 10. According to
Plaintiff, Defendant made arrangements for other Section 8
families residing in the building to remain in three-bedroom
apartments without paying any additional cost. Id.
Plaintiffs began looking for new apartments, Adana again
notified Defendant that she needed an accommodation based
upon her children's disabilities-specifically, a
three-bedroom apartment. Id. ¶¶ 14-15.
Defendant refused this accommodation and instead authorized
payment only for a two-bedroom apartment. Id. ¶
16. As a result, Plaintiffs rented a three-bedroom apartment
and paid for the additional cost of the third bedroom
themselves “for a number of months, ” which
caused a serious hardship due to the family's low-income.
Id. ¶¶ 17-18. Due to this additional cost,
Plaintiffs eventually rented an apartment that did not suit
their family's needs in order to afford the rent.
Id. According to Plaintiffs, only after incurring
all the moving costs and many months of rental payments did
Defendants acknowledge that Plaintiffs' disabilities
necessitated a third bedroom and approve this additional
cost. Id. ¶ 20. Plaintiffs do not specify when
Defendant made this approval decision. See generally
id. Defendant has never repaid Plaintiffs' lost rent
or moving costs. Id.
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint
must provide a “short and plain statement of the
claim” showing that the pleader merits relief,
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), so the defendant has “fair
notice” of the claim “and the grounds upon which
it rests, ” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). A complaint must also contain
“sufficient factual matter” to state a facially
plausible claim to relief-one that “allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference” that the defendant
committed the alleged misconduct. Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 570). This plausibility standard “asks for more than
a sheer possibility” that a defendant acted unlawfully.
Williamson v. Curran, 714 F.3d 432, 436 (7th Cir.
evaluating a complaint on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, this Court
accepts all well-pled allegations as true and draws all
reasonable inferences in Plaintiffs' favor.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. This Court does not,
however, accept legal conclusions as true. Brooks v.
Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009). On a motion to
dismiss, this Court may consider the complaint itself,
documents attached to the complaint, documents central to the
complaint and to which the complaint refers, and information
properly subject to judicial notice. Williamson, 714
F.3d at 436.
I and II each contain one failure to accommodate claim and
two disparate treatment claims against Defendant.
Specifically, Counts I and II allege that Defendant violated
the Rehabilitation Act and FHA by: (1) refusing to make
reasonable accommodations when it did not approve a higher
rental voucher payment or approve a different three-bedroom
apartment when Plaintiffs were forced to move; (2) forcing
Plaintiffs to move while allowing similarly situated families
to remain in their three-bedroom apartments; and (3)
approving rent voucher increases for other similarly situated
renters.  ¶¶ 40, 48, 49. This Court analyzes
each claim in turn.
The Rehabilitation Act ...