UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
ORCHARD HILL CONSTRUCTION, LLC;
THE LINDEN GROUP, INC.;
and WILLIAM K. OLSON
The United States of America alleges:
- This action is brought by the United States to enforce the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (Fair Housing Act), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619.
- This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).
- Creekside of Spring Creek (Creekside) is a residential dwelling complex located at 14008 Norwich Land, Orland Park, Illinois. When completely constructed, Creekside will be comprised of 271 single family homes, sixty condominium units, and thirty-six townhomes, sixteen of which are ranch-style. The sixty condominium units are located in five, three-story elevator buildings. All of the condominium and townhomes at Creekside were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991.
- Covington Knolls is a residential dwelling complex located north of 127th Street, Lemont, Illinois. When construction is completed, Covington Knolls will be comprised of 424 single-family homes, and seventy-four townhomes, some of which will be ranch-style. All of the townhomes at Covington Knolls were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991.
- Defendant Orchard Hill Construction, LLC (Orchard Hill) is an Illinois corporation whose principal place of business is located in the Northern District of Illinois. Defendant Orchard Hill formerly operated as Orchard Hill Building Co., Inc., and is responsible for the design, development, construction, and sale of residential dwellings at Creekside and at Covington Knolls.
- Defendant The Linden Group, Inc. (Linden) is an architectural firm whose principal place of business is in the Northern District of Illinois. Linden is responsible for the design of the condominium units at Creekside.
- Defendant William K. Olson Associates (Olson) is an architectural firm whose principal place of business is in the Northern District of Illinois. Olson is responsible for the design of the townhomes at Creekside and Covington Knolls.
- The residential units at Creekside and Covington Knolls are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b). Sixty condominium units and sixteen ranch-style townhomes at Creekside and fourteen ranch-style townhomes at Covington Knolls are "covered multi-family dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(A), and are thus subject to the accessibility requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
- Defendants have violated 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C) by failing to design and construct covered certain dwellings at Creekside and Covington Knolls in such a manner that: (a) the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; (b) all doors are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons who use wheelchairs; and (c) all premises within such dwellings contain: (i) an accessible route into and through the dwelling; and (ii) reinforcements in the bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars.
- Defendants, through actions referred to in paragraph 9, above, have:
- Discriminated in the sale, or otherwise made unavailable or denied, dwellings to buyers because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1); and
- Failed to design and construct dwellings in compliance with the accessibility and adaptability features mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 3604 (f)(3)(C).
- The conduct of defendants described above constitutes:
- A pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619; and
- A denial to a group of persons of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619, which denial raises an issue of general public importance.
- Persons who may have been the victims of defendants' discriminatory housing practices are aggrieved persons as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i) and may have suffered injuries as a result of defendants' conduct described above.
- Defendants' conduct described above was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of others.
WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the Court enter an order that:
- Declares that defendants' policies and practices, as alleged herein, violate the Fair Housing Act;
- Enjoins defendants, their officers, employees, agents, successors and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, from:
- Failing or refusing to bring the dwelling units and public use and common use areas at Creekside and Covington Knolls into compliance with 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);
- Failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps as may be necessary to restore, as nearly as practicable, the victims of defendants' unlawful practices to the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory conduct; and
- Designing or constructing any covered multi-family dwellings in the future that do not contain the accessibility and adaptability features set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);
- Awards such damages as would fully compensate each per-son aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices for their injuries resulting from defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B); and
- Assesses a civil penalty against each defendant as authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C), in order to vindicate the public interest.
The United States further prays for such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.
Bill Lann Lee
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
Joan A. Magagna
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Brian F. Heffernan
Sunny E. Pietrafesa, Attorney
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
United States Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
Joan C. Laser
Assistant United States Attorney
219 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604
312-383-1857 > >