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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

Civil Action No. 00 C 7603

CUNAT BROS., INC., McHENRY
STATE BANK LAND TRUST NO. 13019
AND 13020; AND PRAIRIE TRAILS
LIMITED PARTNERSHIP
     Defendants.

__________________________________


CONSENT DECREE

The United States files this Consent Decree in the above-captioned case, alleging violations of Section 804(f)(3)(C) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C), as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619 ("the Act").

Cunat Bros., Inc.(Cunat) is the developer of the Prairie Trails Apartments located at 411 Leah Lane in Woodstock, Illinois. McHenry State Bank Land Trust No. 13019 and 13020 is the titleholder of the Prairie Trails property. Prairie Trails Limited Partnership is the beneficiary of the aforesaid land trust. The United States' Complaint alleges that the defendants have engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against persons with disabilities by failing to design and construct the Prairie Trails Apartments with the features of accessible and adaptable design set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

As of the date of this Decree, Cunat has completed 168 rental units in four two-story buildings with no elevators. Of the 168 rental units, all have or have had tenant occupants as of the date of this Decree. There have been constructed in addition six three-story condominium buildings without elevators. As set forth in Section II, infra, construction on the condominium buildings adjacent to the Prairie Trails Apartments was pursuant to designs which comply with the Fair Housing Act.

Prairie Trails Apartments is a "covered multi-family dwelling" within the meaning of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(A). In general, the Act requires that, for buildings with four or more units, all units in elevator buildings and all ground floor units in non-elevator buildings include certain basic accessibility and adaptability design features intended to make housing usable or adaptable by a person who is or who becomes disabled. Prairie Trails Apartments has a total of 168 units in four two-story buildings without an elevator. All of the ground floor units or 84 units are "covered" units under the Act.

The design requirements under the Act include: (a) public use and common use areas that are readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities; (b) doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises that are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons using wheelchairs; (c) an accessible route into and through the dwelling; (d) light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and environmental controls in accessible locations; (e) reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (f) usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

As designed and constructed, the United States alleges that none of the eighty-four (84) covered units at the Prairie Trails Apartments comply with the requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C). For instance, the United States alleges in its Complaint that, as designed and constructed: (1) all bedroom and bathroom doors are not sufficiently wide to allow passage by disabled persons in wheelchairs; (2) bathrooms have no reinforcements in the walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (4) bathrooms and kitchens are not usable such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space. The defendants dispute the allegations of the United States.

The parties agree that this Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case. The parties agree that the controversy should be resolved without further proceedings and without an evidentiary hearing. Therefore, the parties have consented to the entry of this Consent Decree as indicated by the signatures appearing below.

It is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED:

  1. GENERAL INJUNCTION

Defendants, their officers, employees, agents, successors and assigns and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them are permanently enjoined from discriminating on the basis of disability as prohibited by the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C), and as set forth in the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines, 56 Fed. Reg. 9472 (1991) ("the Guidelines")from this time forward.

  1. CORRECTIVE ACTIONS

  1. Design Plans for the Condominium Buildings

    The design plans for the sixty condominium units constructed adjacent to the Prairie Trails Apartments have been drawn to comply with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act set forth at 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C) and the Guidelines.

  2. Assurance that Public Use and Common Areas Comply with the Act

    Defendant Cunat shall, within three months from the entry of this Consent Decree, undertake the specific corrective actions for the public use and common use areas of the Prairie Trails Apartments set forth in Appendix A, with the exception of retrofits involving concrete, which will be accomplished within three months or as soon as the weather permits. The parties agree that these modifications of the public use and common use areas at the Prairie Trails Apartments will satisfy the requirements of the Fair Housing Act set forth at 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C) and the Guidelines.

  3. Remedies for the 84 Noncomplying Units

    The parties recognize that the 84 fully-constructed ground floor covered rental units do not meet the standards of the Act and the Guidelines. As of the date of this Decree, tenants have occupied or are occupying all of the 84 covered units. To address partially the violations in these 84 units, defendants have agreed that upon request of a current tenant or of a prospective tenant who has signed a lease, defendant Cunat will take any or all of the specific corrective action set forth in Appendix B. The United States alleges that the specific corrective actions set out in Appendix B will not result in the full compliance of the unit with the Act and the Guidelines. The procedure by which current and prospective tenants may request the retrofits contained in Appendix B is as follows:

    1. Defendant Cunat shall send to all current tenants of ground floor units at Prairie Trails Apartments the letter attached as Appendix C ("Notification Letter I"), stating that on receipt of a written request from the tenant, defendant Cunat will take the requested corrective actions set forth in Appendix B to bring that unit further into compliance with the Fair Housing Act. Notification Letter I shall further state that the full cost of the retrofit as well as the cost of temporary housing, should construction make the unit temporarily uninhabitable, will be borne by the defendants, and that the retrofits shall be accomplished within thirty (30) days from the date the request is received. Notification Letter I shall also notify current tenants of the availability of damages pursuant to section IV of this Consent Decree. Notification Letter I and a copy of this Consent Decree shall be sent by hand-delivery to each current tenant of ground floor units, and a proof of service shall be executed by the tenant. Defendant Cunat shall send Notification Letter I to all current tenants of ground floor units at Prairie Trails Apartments within thirty (30) days after entry of the Consent Decree.

    2. All persons inquiring about renting a unit at Prairie Trails shall be given a copy of the letter attached as Appendix D ("Notification Letter II"), informing them of the availability of the retrofits recited in Appendix B, should they choose to rent a covered noncompliant unit at Prairie Trails. The letter shall state that the full cost of the retrofits shall be borne by defendant Cunat. The letter shall further state that the retrofits will be accomplished seven days prior to the move-in date, in order that the retrofits can be inspected prior to the time the tenant takes possession of the premises. Finally the letter shall state that if the request is made after the tenant occupies the unit, the retrofit shall be accomplished within thirty days of the receipt of a written request, with the cost of temporary housing, should construction make the unit temporarily uninhabitable, borne by defendant Cunat.

    Within five days of the signing of this Consent Decree, defendants shall deposit the sum of TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND ($25,000) DOLLARS into an escrow account to be used exclusively to fill retrofitting requests for a period of three years. Each time money is drawn from the fund, counsel for the United States shall be notified within thirty days of (1) the amount that was drawn from the account and (2) the purpose for which it was used. (1)

    If at the end of three years from the date of the signing of this Decree, money remains in the escrow account, the remaining balance shall be given to an organization for the purpose of furthering fair housing for persons with disabilities. The United States shall designate the organization to receive the funds and may require the recipient to sign an agreement regarding the use of the funds.

  1. NON-DISCRIMINATION IN FUTURE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

  1. Every six (6) months, for a period of two (2) years from the date of entry of this Consent Decree, and thereafter annually for the duration of the Decree, Cunat shall, regarding any covered, multi-family dwellings planned for development or construction by defendant Cunat, submit to counsel for the United States the following information: the name of the architect and site engineer, the name and address of the project, a description of the project and the individual units, and a statement by a licensed architect with knowledge of the requirements of § 3604(f)(3)(C) of the Act describing his or her knowledge and training in the field of accessible design and certifying that he/she has reviewed such plans and that the plans include design specifications that fully comply with the requirements of the Act and the Guidelines to the best of his or her knowledge.

  1. COMPENSATION OF AGGRIEVED PERSONS

  1. Defendants shall deposit in an interest bearing account designated by the United States, the total sum of SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($75,000) for the purpose of compensating any aggrieved persons who may have been the victims of the alleged discriminatory housing practices at the Prairie Trails Apartments and who may be identified through the procedures set forth in this Section. The money shall be deposited in three installments of TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($25,000) each, spaced one hundred and twenty days apart, with the first payment made within thirty days of the entry of this Consent Decree. The money in this fund will also be used as set forth in Part J of this Section.

  2. Defendants shall notify all former tenants of ground floor units at Prairie Trails Apartments by the letter attached as Appendix F ("Notification Letter III") of the availability of funds. Notification Letter III shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall be accompanied by the release form attached as Appendix E, and a copy of this Consent Decree. Defendant Cunat shall send Notification Letter III and attachments to all former tenants of ground floor units at Prairie Trails Apartments of which it has knowledge within thirty (30) days after entry of the Consent Decree.

  3. On four occasions during the sixty (60) days following the date of the entry of this Consent Decree, defendants shall publish the Notice ("Notice") attached as Exhibit H. The Notice shall be no smaller than three columns by six inches and shall be published in the real estate section, if applicable, in the following newspapers:

    1. The Chicago Sun Times

    2. The Chicago Tribune

    3. The Woodstock Independent

    Each of the four publication dates shall be separated from one another by at least one week and at least one of the publication dates for The Chicago Sun Times and The Chicago Tribune shall be on a Sunday. Defendant Cunat shall provide a copy of the newspaper containing each such Notice to counsel for the United States within sixty (60) days after the entry of this Consent Decree. Defendant Cunat shall notify counsel for the United States in writing of the date on which the last such Notice was published within five (5) days of its publication.

  4. Defendants shall, within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Consent Decree, send a copy of the Notice to any other person, not a former tenant covered in paragraph B of this section, about whom defendants have knowledge, who inquired about or applied to rent at the Prairie Trails Apartments.

  5. Defendants shall produce or permit representatives of the United States to review any records that are not privileged or attorney work product relating to the Prairie Trails Apartments in the possession or control of the defendants, their employees, agents, or representatives which the United States believes to be useful in identifying persons who may be entitled to relief under this Consent Decree. Upon reasonable notice, defendants shall provide such records or shall permit representatives of the United States to make such an inspection.

  6. Persons who may be aggrieved shall have sixty (60) days from the date of the last published Notice to contact the United States.

  7. Within one hundred and eighty (180) days from the date that the last Notice is sent or advertised pursuant to subparagraphs (B),(C), and (D) above, the United States shall determine which persons (if any), who have timely contacted the United States as set forth in subparagraph (F) above, are likely to have been victims of the defendants' alleged discriminatory housing practices, and shall determine in its sole discretion an appropriate amount of damages to be awarded to each such person, provided that:

    1. No person shall be paid any amount pursuant to this Paragraph until after execution of a written release of all claims, legal or equitable, which he or she might have against the defendants relating to the claims asserted in this lawsuit as set forth in Appendix E and execution of a declaration under penalty of perjury attesting to the discrimination suffered; and

    2. The total amount to be paid by the defendants to any individual victim pursuant to this Section shall not exceed TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS ($10,000).

  8. The United States shall notify defendants in writing of its determinations pursuant to subparagraph (H) above and send defendants copies of the executed releases described in paragraph H of this section. Counsel for the United States shall not distribute any check to an aggrieved party until the United States has received the named individual's executed release of claims.

  9. In the event that no additional victims of the defendants' alleged discrimination are located or identified after the actions taken in this Section have been completed, or that a total amount of less than SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($75,000) is paid to such persons, the remaining balance shall be given to an organization for the purpose of furthering fair housing for persons with disabilities. The United States shall designate the organization to receive the funds and may require the recipient to sign an agreement regarding the use of the funds.

  1. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM

Within thirty (30) days of the date of entry of this Consent Decree, defendant Cunat shall provide to all its employees, including but not limited to all employees involved in rental and sales, all its agents, and all supervisory personnel with whom it contracts who are involved in the design and construction of multi-family dwellings covered by the Act: (1) a copy of this Consent Decree; and (2) training on (i) the terms of this Consent Decree, (ii) the requirements of the Act with a particular emphasis on the Act's design and construction requirements, and (iii) their responsibilities and obligations under each. The training shall be conducted by a qualified person or organization approved by the United States or defendant's counsel. Any expenses associated with this training shall be borne by defendant Cunat. Each new employee, each agent, and all new supervisory personnel involved in the design or construction of multi-family dwellings covered by the Act retained by defendant Cunat during the term of this Decree must comply with the above requirements within sixty (60) days after the date he or she commences an employment, agency or contractual relationship with defendant Cunat. Within sixty (60) days of the completion of the training, defendant Cunat shall secure and deliver to counsel for the United States a signed statement from each such employee, each agent and all supervisory personnel with which defendant Cunat contracts who are involved in the design or construction of multi-family dwellings covered by the Act, that he or she has received, read, and understands this Decree to the best of his or her ability and has attended the fair housing program.

  1. NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC OF DEFENDANTS' NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

Within ten (10) days of the date of entry of this Consent Decree, defendant Cunat shall post and prominently display in the sales or rental offices of all covered multi-family housing owned or operated by it, a sign no smaller than ten (10) by fourteen (14) inches indicating that all dwellings are available for sale or rental on a nondiscriminatory basis. Defendant Cunat shall also post such a sign in the sales or rental office of any other covered multi-family housing developed or acquired by it during the effective period of this Consent Decree within ten (10) days of commencing construction. A poster that comports with 24 C.F.R. Part 110 will satisfy this requirement.

In addition, for the duration of this Consent Decree, in all future advertising in newspapers, and on pamphlets, brochures and other promotional literature regarding any covered, multi-family dwellings designed or constructed by defendant Cunat after the date of this Consent Decree, defendant Cunat shall place, in a conspicuous location, a statement that the dwelling units meet the accessibility features for persons with disabilities required by the federal Fair Housing Act. The statement, "FHAA Accessible," in a conspicuous location, shall be deemed to satisfy this requirement.

  1. REPORTING AND DOCUMENT RETENTION REQUIREMENTS

  1. Sixty (60) days after the entry of this Consent Decree, defendants shall submit to counsel for the United States an initial report containing the following:

    1. copies of newspapers containing the Notice set forth in Section IV(B));

    2. a certification listing the names and addresses of the current tenants at the Prairie Trails Apartments to whom Notification Letter I set forth in Section II has been sent and from whom a return receipt has been received;

    3. a certification listing the names and addresses of former tenants at Prairie Trails Apartments to whom a copy of Notification Letter III set forth in Section IV has been sent and from whom a return receipt has been received; and

    4. signed statements of all current employees, all agents and all supervisory personnel involved in the design or construction of multi-family dwellings covered by the Act with whom defendants contract, who have completed the educational program as set forth in Section V.

  2. Six (6) months after the entry of this Consent Decree for a period of two (2) years, and annually thereafter for the duration of this Decree, defendants shall submit to counsel for the United States a report containing the following:

    1. documents containing information and certifications for new construction as set forth in Section III;

    2. signed statements of all new employees, all agents, and all supervisory personnel involved in the design or construction of multi-family dwellings covered by the Act with whom defendants contract, who have completed the educational program during the most recent reporting period as set forth in Section V.

  3. Defendants shall advise counsel for the United States in writing within thirty (30) days of receipt of any written administrative or legal complaint against them, or against any of their employees or agents, regarding any violation of section 804(f) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f). They shall also promptly provide the United States all information that is not privileged or attorney work product it may request concerning any such complaint.

  4. For the term of this Consent Decree, defendants are required to preserve all records related to this Consent Decree, for all properties designed, constructed, owned, operated, or acquired by them. Upon reasonable notice to the defendants, representatives of the United States shall be permitted to inspect and copy any records that are not privileged or attorney work product of defendants or inspect any developments or residential units under defendants' control covered by the Act bearing on compliance with this Consent Decree at any and all reasonable times; provided, however, that the United States shall endeavor to minimize any inconvenience to defendants from such inspections.

  1. DURATION OF DECREE AND TERMINATION OF LEGAL ACTION

  1. This Consent Decree shall remain in effect for five (5) years after the date of its entry.

  2. The United States' Complaint shall be dismissed with prejudice, subject only to the right of the United States to petition the Court, at any time during the duration of this Decree, to reopen the case for the purpose of enforcing the Decree. The parties to this Consent Decree shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation of and compliance with this Decree prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution.

  1. TIME FOR PERFORMANCE

Any time limits for performance imposed by this Consent Decree may be extended by the mutual agreement of the parties.

  1. COSTS OF LITIGATION

Each party to this litigation will bear its own costs and attorney's fees associated with this litigation.

It is so ORDERED this ___[13th]__ day of ___[March]___, 2001.

_________/s/________________
United States District Judge


Agreed to by the parties as indicated by the signatures of counsel below.


FOR DEFENDANTS CUNAT BROS., INC.;
McHENRY STATE BANK LAND TRUST
NO. 13019 AND 13020; AND PRAIRIE
TRAILS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP
FOR PLAINTIFF UNITED STATES

SCOTT R. LASSAR
United States Attorney

JUDITH ANNE GLEASON
Meltzer, Purtil & Stelle
1515 E. Woodfield Road
Suite 250
Schaumburg, Illinois 60173
(847) 330-6056
JOAN LASER
Assistant United States Attorney
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60606
(312) 353-1857

TIMOTHY MORAN
Deputy Chief
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998


APPENDIX A

Retrofitting of Common Areas

  1. install a 5' x 5' landing at the top of each curb cut so as to have adequate turning space.

  2. adjust door closers to allow a 3-second closing time.

  3. install lever hardware on the outside of all entry doors.


APPENDIX B

Retrofitting Of Units

  1. A units (10) (one bedroom, one bath)

    1. raise heating controls to be within the 15" to 48" reach ranges.

    2. lower air-conditioning controls to be within the 15" to 48" reach ranges.

    3. modify sliding glass door to provide a 32" opening and ramp the 1.25 threshold.

    4. move kitchen range to the center to allow for a 30" x 48" clear space to the center line of the range.

  2. B units (28) (two bedroom, 2 baths)

    1. raise heating controls to be within the 15" to 48" reach ranges.

    2. lower air-conditioning controls to be within the 15" to 48" reach ranges.

    3. modify sliding glass door to provide a 32" opening and ramp the 1.25" threshold.

    4. move kitchen range to the center to allow for a 30" x 48" clear space to the center line of the range.

    5. center clear floor space on the sink in the hall bathroom by installing a removable base cabinet, pursuant to ch.7, 7.50-7.52, Fair Housing Act Design Manual.

    6. remove master bathroom inner door to achieve a 32" clear opening.

    7. install a removable cabinet beneath sink in the master bath to achieve clear floor space for the water closet and clear floor space centered on the sink.

  3. J units (6) (one bedroom, one bath)

    1. raise heating controls to be within the 15" to 48" reach ranges.

    2. lower air-conditioning controls to be within the 15" to 48" reach ranges.

    3. modify sliding glass door to provide a 32" opening and ramp the 1.25 threshold.

    4. retrofit bedroom door to achieve a 32" clear opening.

    5. add an additional cabinet in the kitchen to provide 48" x 30" clear floor space centered on the sink.

  4. C units (26) (1 bedroom, 1 bath, family room)

    1. raise heating controls to be within the 15" to 48" reach ranges.

    2. lower air-conditioning controls to be within the 15" to 48" reach ranges.

    3. modify sliding glass door to provide a 32" opening and ramp the 1.25 threshold.

    4. move kitchen range to the center to allow for a 30" x 48" clear space to the center line of the range.

  5. L unit (10) (2 bedroom, 2 bath, family room)

    1. raise heating controls to be within the 15" to 48" reach ranges.

    2. lower air-conditioning controls to be within the 15" to 48" reach ranges.

    3. modify sliding glass door to provide a 32" opening and ramp the 1.25" threshold.

    4. add additional cabinet in the kitchen to provide 48" x 30" clear floor space centered on the sink.

    5. retrofit one bathroom door to achieve a 32" clear opening.

    6. retrofit family room door to achieve a 32" clear opening.

  6. H unit (4) (studio)

    1. raise heating controls to be within the 15" to 48" reach ranges.

    2. lower air-conditioning controls to be within the 15" to 48" reach ranges.

    3. move kitchen range to the center to allow for a 30" x 48" clear space to the center line of the range.


APPENDIX C
NOTIFICATION LETTER TO CURRENT TENANTS OF GROUND FLOOR UNITS AT PRAIRIE TRAILS APARTMENTS ("Notification Letter I")

Dear Prairie Trails Tenant of a Ground Floor Unit:

Federal law requires that certain multi-family dwellings like the units that exist at Prairie Trails contain accessibility features for persons with disabilities. That law requires that such dwellings be built so that: (1) the common areas are readily accessible to persons with disabilities; (2) doors in the individual units are wide enough to allow passage by disabled persons in wheelchairs; (3) routes into and through the dwellings are accessible; (4) electrical outlets and other controls are in accessible locations; (5) reinforcements are put in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (6) bathrooms and kitchens have sufficient space to be usable by persons in wheelchairs.

We have come to an agreement with the United States to resolve allegations that certain common areas and dwelling units at Prairie Trails did not incorporate these requirements. A copy of the Consent Decree is attached. As part of the settlement, we have added and will add certain accessibility features to the common areas and ground floor units. In addition, we agreed to make certain modifications to the units at the tenants' request. The modifications are intended to make the unit more accessible to persons with disabilities, especially those using wheelchairs. We shall make these modifications at no cost to you. Should the modification you request make your unit temporarily uninhabitable, we shall pay to house you while the modification is made. If you wish to take advantage of this offer, please contact us in person, by phone at , or by letter to . We will contact you to schedule an appointment to explain the modifications in detail.

We have also agreed to establish a monetary fund to be used first to compensate persons who have been harmed in any way by the lack of accessibility features at Prairie Trails Apartments. We and the United States wish to locate persons who may be entitled to monetary compensation from this fund.

IF YOU OR ANYONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD:

  1. HAS BEEN HARMED IN ANY WAY BY THE LACK OF HANDICAP ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES AT PRAIRIE TRAILS APARTMENTS,

  2. PAID TO HAVE ANY OF THE ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES LISTED ABOVE ADDED TO YOUR UNIT, OR

  3. KNOW OF ANYONE WHO WAS DISCOURAGED FROM LIVING AT PRAIRIE TRAILS BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES,

PLEASE CONTACT ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY JOAN LASER BY CALLING (312) 353-1857 OR BY WRITING TO: ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY JOAN LASER, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, 219 SOUTH DEARBORN STREET, CHICAGO, IL 60604.

You may also contact the United States Attorney's Office to discuss the settlement and answer any questions you may have.

Sincerely,


APPENDIX D
NOTIFICATION LETTER TO PROSPECTIVE TENANTS OF GROUND FLOOR UNITS AT PRAIRIE TRAILS APARTMENTS ("Notification Letter II")

Dear Prairie Trails Prospective Tenant of a Ground Floor Unit:

Federal law requires that certain multi-family dwellings like the units that exist at Prairie Trails contain accessibility features for persons with disabilities. That law requires that such dwellings be built so that: (1) the common areas are readily accessible to persons with disabilities; (2) doors in the individual units are wide enough to allow passage by disabled persons in wheelchairs; (3) routes into and through the dwellings are accessible; (4) electrical outlets and other controls are in accessible locations; (5) reinforcements are put in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (6) bathrooms and kitchens have sufficient space to be usable by persons in wheelchairs.

We have come to an agreement with the United States to resolve allegations that certain common areas and dwelling units at Prairie Trails did not incorporate these requirements. A copy of the Consent Decree is attached. As part of the settlement, we have added and will add certain accessibility features to the common areas. In addition, we agreed to make certain modifications to the units at the tenants' request. The modifications are intended to make the unit more accessible to persons with disabilities, especially those using wheelchairs. We shall make these modifications at no cost to you.

The modifications you choose shall be made by seven days prior to the move-in date, in order that the retrofits can be inspected prior to the time you take possession of the premises. If you decide that you want the modifications after you move in, they will be made within thirty days of our receipt of your written request. If the work on the modifications makes your unit temporarily uninhabitable, we will pay the cost of temporary housing.

If you wish to take advantage of this offer and have the modifications made before you move in, please select all or any of the modifications listed below and sign your name at the bottom of the page. We will be happy to explain the modifications in detail. Please note that you must sign a lease before requesting the modifications.

Sincerely,


APPENDIX E
RELEASE OF CLAIMS

In consideration of the payment of the sum of _________ dollars ($_______), pursuant to the Consent Decree entered in United States v. Cunat Bros., Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 00-C 7603 (N.D. Ill.), I hereby release the defendants named in this action, their shareholders, representatives, employees, and agents and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, their firms, corporations, entities, from any and all liability for any claims, demands, damages, actions, or causes of action, whether administrative, legal or equitable, whether foreseen or unforeseen, I may have against them arising out of the issues alleged in the above-styled action, i.e. violations of section 804(f)(3)(C) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C), at Prairie Trails Apartments in Woodstock, Illinois.

I fully acknowledge and agree that this release of the defendants shall be binding on my heirs, representatives, executors, successors, administrators, and assigns.

It is understood and agreed that this settlement is the compromise of a disputed claim, and that the payment is not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of the parties released; the parties released do not admit and have specifically denied liability.

I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understand this release and have executed it voluntarily and with full knowledge of its legal consequences.

I declare under penalty of perjury, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746(2), that the foregoing is true and correct.

__________________
Print Name

__________________
Date

__________________
Signature


APPENDIX F
NOTIFICATION LETTER TO FORMER TENANTS OF GROUND FLOOR UNITS AT PRAIRIE Trails APARTMENTS ("Notification Letter III")

Dear Prairie Trails Former Tenant of a Ground Floor Unit:

Federal law requires that certain multi-family dwellings like the units that exist at Prairie Trails contain accessibility features for persons with disabilities. That law requires that such dwellings be built so that: (1) the common areas are readily accessible to persons with disabilities; (2) doors in the individual units are wide enough to allow passage by disabled persons in wheelchairs; (3) routes into and through the dwellings are accessible; (4) electrical outlets and other controls are in accessible locations; (5) reinforcements are put in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (6) bathrooms and kitchens have sufficient space to be usable by persons in wheelchairs. The United States has filed a lawsuit alleging that Prairie Trails does not have many of these required features.

We have come to an agreement with the United States on terms to settle its claims regarding Prairie Trails. A copy of the Consent Decree is attached. As part of the settlement, we have added and will add certain accessibility features to the common areas and ground floor units. In addition, we have agreed to establish a monetary fund to be used first to compensate persons who have been harmed in any way by the lack of accessibility features at Prairie Trails Apartments. We and the United States wish to locate persons who may be entitled to monetary compensation from this fund.

IF YOU OR ANYONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD:

  1. HAS BEEN HARMED IN ANY WAY BY THE LACK OF HANDICAP ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES AT PRAIRIE TRAILS APARTMENTS,

  2. PAID TO HAVE ANY OF THE ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES LISTED ABOVE ADDED TO YOUR UNIT, OR

  3. KNOW OF ANYONE WHO WAS DISCOURAGED FROM LIVING AT PRAIRIE TRAILS BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES,

PLEASE CONTACT ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY JOAN LASER BY CALLING (312) 353-1857 OR BY WRITING TO: ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY JOAN LASER, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, 219 SOUTH DEARBORN STREET, CHICAGO, IL 60604.

You may also contact the United States Attorney's Office to discuss the settlement and any questions you may have.

Sincerely,


APPENDIX G
PRAIRIE TRAILS APARTMENTS
411 LEAH LANE
WOODSTOCK, ILLINOIS

To all persons who viewed units at Prairie Trails with the intention of renting a unit:

Federal law requires that certain multi-family dwellings like the units that exist at Prairie Trails contain accessibility features for persons with disabilities. That law requires that such dwellings be built so that: (1) the common areas are readily accessible to persons with disabilities; (2) doors in the individual units are wide enough to allow passage by disabled persons in wheelchairs; (3) routes into and through the dwellings are accessible; (4) electrical outlets and other controls are in accessible locations; (5) reinforcements are put in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (6) bathrooms and kitchens have sufficient space to be usable by persons in wheelchairs. The units at Prairie Trails may have been built without some of those features, though there has been no official determination that the developer or architect has violated the law.

If you viewed Prairie Trails with the intention of purchasing a unit but were discouraged from doing so due to a lack of accessibility features, we ask that you contact counsel for the United States at the address or phone number listed below. You may be entitled to receive compensation from a fund that has been established to compensate aggrieved persons.

Please contact representatives of the office listed below no later than 60 days after you receive this notice to determine whether you are eligible to receive compensation under the Fund. You may call (312)353-5300 and ask for the Duty Paralegal or write to the Office of the United States Attorney, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60604, Attn: Screening Committee, B. Hansen.


1. For purposes of this Decree, counsel for the United States is: Office of the United States Attorney, Civil Division, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604, Attn: Civil Rights.


Document Signed: March 13, 2001.

General Information Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
 
Leadership
Steven H. Rosenbaum
Chief
Contact
Housing & Civil
Enforcement Section
(202) 514-4713
TTY - 202-305-1882
FAX - (202) 514-1116
To Report an Incident of Housing Discrimination:
1-800-896-7743
Mailing Contact
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, NWB
Washington, D.C. 20530

Email: fairhousing@usdoj.gov

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