Housing professionals today face a wide array of civil rights responsibilities, including, of course, compliance with fair housing requirements. Every day, a housing professional must make decisions involving state and federal fair housing laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and myriad other federal, state, and local enactments.
For nearly 30 years, Theresa (“Terry”) L. Kitay has concentrated her practice of law on these specific laws, beginning with her work as a senior trial attorney with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Southeastern Office of General Counsel in Atlanta, Georgia. Terry’s enforcement background with HUD, combined with extensive and exclusive experience in the defense representation of housing professionals after leaving HUD, have given Terry a unique ability to assist clients who face civil rights issues or wish to avoid them in the future.
Since working with The Law Firm of Coughlin, Kitay & Edelstein, P.C. in 2006, Terry’s solo practice of law has been widely recognized as the nation’s foremost defense firm for accessibility issues particular to the multifamily housing industry, including Fair Housing Act, ADA, and building code accessibility requirements. Terry is a California Certified Access Specialist (CASp #645), and has extensive continuing education in accessibility issues. In addition to the general defense and preventive representation of people who own or manage all forms of housing, Terry regularly works with owners, developers, architects, and engineers of new multifamily construction on issues of physical accessibility nationwide.
Affiliations and Publications
Terry is a native of Atlanta, Georgia who has maintained her practice in Atlanta, Southern California, and now North Carolina. She is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the State Bar of California, and the State Bar of North Carolina. She served on the Steering Committee of the California Bar’s Subsection on Fair Housing and Public Accommodations, assisting in the planning and presentation of the Subsection’s annual Symposium. She has routinely served as a subject matter expert on fair housing and accessibility for the National Apartment Association.
Terry is a frequent source and contributor on fair housing, accessibility, and related topics to such national publications as Units and Fair Housing Coach. She has also testified before the U.S. House of Representatives on fair housing and accessibility issues. She is the author of “Fair Housing and Accessibility Issues in Multifamily Rental Housing” in the Georgia Apartment Law Book, and Chapter 11 of California Fair Housing and Public Accommodations (Rutter Group), “Americans with Disabilities Act and its Incorporation into California Law.”
Terry is an honors graduate of both Smith College and the Emory University School of Law. She was a Member of the Board of the Emory Law Review.
You can see Terry’s full CV here.